Dear sisters and brothers,
As you all know, the situation in this part of the world is exceptionally tense, the country is divided, parts of it are still occupied by the Islamic State (ISIS), and the most painful thing is seeing that every coalition is divided on itself due to conflicts over interest and leadership. Therefore, the slogan of “homeland above all” and “Human Dignity is a priority” have disappeared. I would like to remind you of what Jesus said: “Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin; and no town, no household divided against itself can last” (Matthew 12:25).
Frankly, the reality looks sad, painful and frustrating, but there is still hope. Therefore, we need to take a series of practical steps to get out of this tough situation and save the nation from falling into:
1. More disagreement, conflicts and fights
2. More of dead and displaced people
3. More of devastation, stress, anxiety and fear.
Christians, Muslims, Yazidis and Sabis, we need to have a reasonable look at our tragedy and benefit from it by making this tribulation a fruitful opportunity and a driving force to restore confidence, tolerance and merging. This is achievable through serious dialogue, openness and honesty in order to achieve national reconciliation, unity, partnership and peace, which is the only way to stop the interference of both internal and external powers, who are seeking to invest and benefit from our conflicts.
Let us prove that we are able to open up to each other and live with the differences of views and to hurry up as one team of women and men in order to save our country and ourselves. Politics is not a game of interests, but rather a sense of responsibility, it is intellect, stances, and brave decisions to reach out for the reforms that our people are aspired to achieve.
We Christians, while concluding our lent, pain and cross of these difficult days and moving toward the Holy Week, are called NOT to keep looking at our wounds and lose hope but to celebrate next Sunday (27th March) Easter-Passover-Resurrection: as our most beautiful and joyful feast. I urge you to rely on wisdom and patience and to stay united together on the land, where we were born, lived for 1400 years together with Muslims, sharing one civilization.
Be careful from getting confused and do not let other persons, societies and countries take advantage of our anguish and ends up in scattering our families at the 4 corners of the globe (50 here, 100 there). I call you to be a Christian, humanitarian, and national figure as Christ wants us to be:
3. Present and active
4. Model of “light and hope”
5. Loyal to our country, "our home"
6. Devoted to our Iraqi brothers and sisters “ our family”
If we communicate with everyone, integrate and cooperate to build a better present and future together, our presence will never be threatened.
Finally, I would like to close with a verse from the New Testament that may help us facing suffering, sustain our faith, our love, our hope and our witness to Jesus Christ “Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly… master evil with good” (Romans 12: 12 & 21).
Happy Easter, I sincerely wishing you all and your families a real resurrection, a quick return of displaced to their homes, and a restoration of peace at our churches, country and the whole world.
Louis Raphael Sako
27th March 2016