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Christians 'In Iraq Since Its Birth', Say They Want Role in Rebuilding
AINA (Assyrian International News Agency) ^ | February 20, 2009 | ENI

Posted on 02/21/2009 7:32:38 AM PST by Ravnagora

Beirut (ENI) -- A group of Christians meeting in Lebanon have declared that people of their faith have belonged to Iraq since the nation's birth and that they are not just a minority but an essential part of Iraqi society and deeply rooted in its history and civilisation.

"As authentic children of this land, they have the right to live freely in it and enjoy equal rights and responsibilities along with all other citizens," the 12 Iraqi church leaders said after their meeting on 10 and 11 February in Dar Sayedat Al Jabal, Fatka in Lebanon.

"The solution to current conditions lies not in emptying Iraq of its human resources," said the participants at the meeting that was organized by the Geneva-based World Council of Churches. The meeting addressed challenges now facing Christians in Iraq, particularly issues of safety and security as well as enforced migration.

"Christians have belonged to Iraq since the nation's birth; they are not merely a minority but an essential part of Iraqi society and deeply rooted in its history and civilisation," participants stated.

Some of the participants in the meeting had experienced being kidnapped in Iraq, but they called upon Iraqi Christians, "to stay in their homeland and participate actively in its rebuilding and development". Iraqi Christians have a role, "in building educational and social institutions that contribute to national reconciliation, peace building and stability," they said.

The gathering also called on Western churches not to encourage migration and resettlement programmes for refugees outside Iraq, but, "to focus their efforts on bringing back security and stability inside Iraq for all Iraqis".

The goal, said participants, "is to enable Iraqis to work together, healing wounds and building a better future for themselves."

The participants stressed the importance of continued dialogue between Christians and Muslims. They pledged to establish an ecumenical forum in order to allow "all Iraqi church leaders … to speak with a common voice to religious and political authorities inside and outside Iraq".

Among those attending the meeting were: Elder Yussef Al-Saka of the Presbyterian Church in Baghdad; Bishop Mar Mikha Poula Auraha of the Chaldean Church in al-Qush; Archbishop Avak Asadourian, of the Armenian Church of Iraq; Archbishop Basilios Georges Casmoussa of the Syrian Catholic Church, Mosul; the Rev. Sargon Esho Daweed of the Ancient Assyrian Church of the East, Baghdad; Archbishop Mor Severius Hawa of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Baghdad; Archbishop Louis Sako of the Chaldean Church, Kirkuk and Archbishop Jean Sleiman, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: christians; iraq; iraqichristians; postwariraq; rebuildingiraq

1 posted on 02/21/2009 7:32:38 AM PST by Ravnagora
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To: Ravnagora

There were Christians in what would be LATER known as Iraq, long before the Muslims arrived.

2 posted on 02/21/2009 8:10:57 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: Ravnagora

Interesting. Good post. Thanks.

3 posted on 02/21/2009 8:12:26 AM PST by PGalt
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To: SuziQ

It always fascinates me how the Islam has managed to overcome the fact it came about simply because Abraham refused to trust God and keep it in his pants until God came through as promised, but instead listened to his wife and fathered a bastard child by her hand maiden. Not exactly a storybook beginning for a religion that would some day hope to replace a faith based on the Son of God. Their whole religion is based on falsehood, starting the claim it’s the religion Abraham and building from there.

4 posted on 02/21/2009 8:31:02 AM PST by jwparkerjr (God Bless America!)
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To: jwparkerjr

Actually, I’ve read that the whole idea of Islam being founded through Abraham is not true. Folks have been saying that for years, but I’ve never seen any timeline, or connection actually proved.

5 posted on 02/21/2009 8:46:05 AM PST by SuziQ
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