A Unified Christian Authority, International Support and the Compassion of the Muslim Majority
Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako
Some Christian writers started feeling the risk and hence calling to establish a “Unified Secular Christian Authority”. I have read these “calls” with interest, because it represents an inspiration to change the Iraqi Christian scene. Therefore, I hope that these thoughts will motivate a refreshing spirit, which will initiate the reviving of the current disturbing and frightening “gray” reality. Besides, it will help us in facing the challenges that threaten our historical existence, as we are all held accountable to the fate of our nation in Iraq.
Here, I would like to point out to the concern America, Russia, France, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Vatican. etc. in keeping Christians in their homelands, by urging “Iraqi” Government to “support” their full rights as equal citizens.
Simply, I refer this kind of support to the suffering; on-going violence; persecution and terrorism against Christians; and to the compassion of Muslim majorities in keeping Christians in their country, showing the desire to continue living in a pluralistic society, far from extremism and sectarianism. Especially, because Christians are the indigenous people of this land.
If immigration, division and the “foggy” vision continues, our destiny will be similar to that of Jewish in 1948. Emigration has deteriorated the “Christian body” for real reasons, and our population is “frighteningly” declined. I respect the personal decision to emigrate, as the person is responsible for making such decision. However, I confirm that I haven’t made an effort, at all to facilitate emigration, for I believe that emigration destroys the “Christian body” since the dispersion and blending in new cultures and societies, different from ours, is like a disease that deteriorate the body even if it is still alive!
Therefore, I renew my call to Iraqi Christians to change their vision and behavior rather than useless criticisms and conflicts for personal interests. Christian Community in Mosul is almost vanished, and there are pressures on the towns of the Nineveh Plain to change its’ demography as well as the negative impact on those who returned to it.
Regarding politics, Christian parties are stolen out and its’ political agendas have nothing to do with the Christian presence, as it happened in the recent elections. Thus, our responsibility as Christians “oblige” us to unite and form an authority to “overpass” the current tragedy. Otherwise, the situation will change from bad to worse.
Apart from “ethnical denominations” and conflict of interests, the Christian culture cannot accept divisions. We share the same fate and have numerous things in common, which makes it essential now, more than ever, to get rid of pessimism and despair in order to reunite. This way, we can save what has to be saved and focus on establishing a “task force” team of both genders, whose members should be sincere with clear intellectual and practical capabilities to read and compare reality. Also, to establish a “monitoring office” to monitor the violations against Christians, in terms of law, etc.
Christians inside and outside Iraq must assume their historic responsibilities through sincere dialogue, wisdom and vision, rather than irresponsible criticism. We, as a church, promise to remain supportive in an appropriate way without interfering.
In conclusion, I believe that this is the only civilized way that enables us to play our leading role as an integrated part of our nation’s fabric; improve the current situation; and reinforce our survival in the land of our ancestors.