Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako
Sisters and Brothers,
We as a Church wish you a “Ramadan – Fasting”, and bind our wishes with yours, expressing our solidarity, sincere feelings, respect and prayers from the bottom of our hearts that may God watch over Iraq and protect Iraqis.
The month of Ramadan provides a privilege time for fasting, praying, repent and changing of mentality and approaches (metanoia) in order to live in peace with oneself and with others. It is an opportunity to practice compassion and charity. Since a person cannot be a real believer unless he is honest, peacemaker and serving.
In such harsh and worrying circumstances that have troubled the country, leaving thousands killed and wounded; millions of displaced people and huge destruction, I urge you to make this month an “exceptional Ramadan” in terms of:
1. Renouncing sectarianism and fundamentalism.
2. Building a culture of reconciliation.
3. Promoting shared values of tolerance, neighborhood and friendship.
4. Endorsing peaceful coexistence, dialogue and mutual respect.
This way, you will make the celebration of the upcoming “Al-Fitre”, a double feast: where you will rejoice the religious occasion as well as the triumph of reconciliation, and peace. On this event, we extend our compliments to the Iraqi Forces, for their victory, hoping that all the Iraqi territories will be released from ISIS.
To conclude, be sure that we will be praying during this month, that your fasting and praying will enlighten and direct the hearts of all Iraqis toward the birth of a new Iraq, in which all its’ citizens will be treated equally, safeguard their dignity and bring them security and stability.