The Patriarchate Media
It has been three challenging years since 6-7 August 2014, when the Christians of Nineveh Plain (NP) towns were unfairly forced to leave their own land, homes and properties. In remembering such tragedy with its’ painful memories, the Chaldean Patriarchate tend to highlight the following:
– Recaps its greatest worry and concern over the delay in reconstructing the destroyed infrastructure, homes, and related services in these towns. Subsequently, this delay is deterring the return of the displaced families of this region, even though it has been released from ISIS for several months.
– Points out with great awareness and fears that: continuation of the culture of Daesh and inciting speeches against non-Muslims; the climate of conflict in NP, (between the Iraqi Central Government (ICG) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), based on who liberated each town from ISIS) embed it , are actually the main disturbing factors that foster Christians’ worries about the future of their geographical, religious and national identity in addition to making them feel that their existence and livelihoods are in danger at this particular area. Therefore, the Patriarchate appeals to “all concerned parties” to join hands in reassuring the right of Iraqi Christians to return to their land by:
• Respecting the value of self-determination right that enables them to plan their future, away from all kind of pressures.
• Giving them a hand in establishing security to complete the restoration process and provide Jobs.
• Helping them to re-build the trust with their neighbors.
All concerned parties who believe in human rights, democracy; and feel their citizens’ eagerness to have a civil, peaceful and decent life, must adopt really these arguments about uncertainties.
– The Patriarchate pleas also to “Christian Parties” (There are at least ten parties, several organizations and armed factions) and holds them responsible for the sufferings of the Christians in Iraq, due to their dispersion, division, their failure to make a unified decision( Alqosh is an example ), and the tendency of many of them to work separately, each for its own specific interest. The problem is serious especially when some parties try to summarize Christians’ stance and has sort of monopoly of controlling the decision in favor of those who pay more to undertake their project. So thy forget that a party has a message, responsibility and commitment.
– Since the Patriarchate believes that dialogue is a creative, open-ended activity of a group thinking, we call on all “Christian Parties” to get together with some elderly people of Nineveh Plain, who are aware of all the requirements of the current situation and able to take responsibility
– The Patriarchal Patriarch calls upon these parties to dialogue with each other and with some elderly people of Nineveh Plain, and to shoulder the responsibility of serving Christians and other citizens in the spirit of one “mindful ” team in order to:
• Develop the future vision
• Find clear and appropriate solutions for the benefit of the Christian Component and for the completely Iraqi society.
• Discuss the outcome in a serious, clear and proper way with the ICG and KRG,for their benefit and for the good of the entire society.
– On this occasion, the Patriarchate repeats its call on all Officials of both the ICG and KRG to put in the practice the respect of Christians and Minorities rights, in accordance with the provision of the Iraqi Constitution – Article 125 by:
• Involving Christians and Minorities in the administration and the political process in order to receive their fair share of participation.
• Not changing their historical and geographical situation.
• Establishing and assuring justice, equality and coexistence.
• Solving all problems in a peaceful way through responsible and courageous dialogue away from the “unfairly stated” games of majority vs minority and winners vs losers.
In summary, it is time, more than ever before, for all parties to be reminded by their people about the necessity of renouncing sectarian quotas, but rather to move toward civil society and the rule of law. This way, we can develop a civilized Iraq that will be well deserved by its people, who suffered a lot for so many years.
Finally, the Patriarchate does not write this statement for media purposes as much as is longing to see it translated into actions by the good-willing leaders. From our side, we can confirm that the Church will remain embracing its children and stand by them for their survival, to overcome the fears, and to consolidate their presence. We will continue praying for the long-lasting peace in Iraq.