تضامن الكنيسة الكاثوليكية مع الكنيسة الكلدانية
“Chaldeans shocked by patriarch’s removal of status”
depleted from 1.5 million before the fall of Saddam Hussein to a mere 150,000 in 2022, conditions had started to improve slightly, according to the Aid in the Church in Need (ACN) 2023 religious freedom report.
The visit of Pope Francis to Iraq in 2021 had kindled Iraqi Christians’ hopes for a better future in their own ancestral homeland where they were among the first in the world to embrace Christianity.
“Despite deep divisions, the recent election of Prime Minister al-Sudani gives cautious reason for hope,” stated the ACN report’s Iraq section.
Which made Rashid’s latest move so puzzling.
“The news of Patriarch Sako’s treatment came as a surprise,” Jarjis said.
Allos sees it as another blow to the Christian community, already beleaguered by discrimination, economic woes and the volatile security situation which leaves them caught in the crossfire between competing militias.
Jarjis is holding out hopes Sako’s relocation to KRI — which basically makes him a displaced person in his own country — is not permanent, and that Rashid can be persuaded to reverse his decision.
“The first thing I did when I came to Ottawa was to present a letter to the Embassy of Iraq. We were received well there, and they promised to send the letter to the President of Iraq,” he said.
He said he was preparing letters to the leaders of all Canadian political parties asking them to help the Christian minority in Iraq.
The bishop also dedicated a special Sunday of prayer “for the Church, for Christians in Iraq and especially for His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael Sako.”
“We hope the situation will be resolved and His Beatitude can go back to Baghdad. He is the spiritual father of our community.”