Skip to comments.Kurdistan will remain land of tolerance, PM Barzani tells religious leaders
Posted on 12/15/2019 9:32:57 PM PST by Cronos
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Saturday praised the role of various religious communities in preserving the “rich and vibrant history” of the region, which he stated would continue to be “a land of peace and tolerance” for those of all faiths.
Barzani's comments came during a meeting he chaired with a delegation of representatives from the region’s many religions, including those from Muslim, Christian, Yezidi (Ezidi), Kaka’i, Zoroastrian, Mandaean, and Baha’i communities, a statement from his office said.
The meeting came to mark the United Nations' International Day for Tolerance, the statement added. Barzani “affirmed his strong belief that the Kurdistan Region will remain a land of peace and tolerance, which celebrates its diversity as a strength and a source of pride.”
He also emphasized to the representatives that “everyone has a role in promoting a culture of coexistence, respect, and appreciation for the various ethnic and religious groups in the Kurdistan Region.”
Over the decades, various extremist groups have systematically targeted many minority groups throughout Iraq, notably in areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil. Most recently, the so-called Islamic State displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians who fled for their lives.
Multiple such communities are still being affected amid a continued Islamic State insurgency, especially in rural areas.
Read More: Specter of ISIS in Iraq lingers for Kirkuk's Kakai minority
Many have settled in the Kurdistan Region, displacement camps, or left the country entirely.
Despite the obstacles, some of these groups continue to rebuild their communities. In August, an organization dedicated to the Zoroastrian religion held a ceremony at a Fire Temple in Sulaimani province’s town of Darbandikhan.
Read More: IN PHOTOS: Zoroastrians hold ceremony at fire temple in Kurdistan Region
During the event, participants observed a number of the ancient religion's rituals and read some of its core texts and doctrines aloud to attendees.
Editing by John J. Catherine
note, this is Iraqi Kurdistan
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