Statement by Iraqi Christian leaders

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Posted by Andreas from ( on Thursday, May 08, 2003 at 4:02AM :

Statement by Iraqi Christian leaders dated April 29

The complete document at:

At this moment, when Iraq is turning a page and is beginning a new chapter
in its millenary life, we, the Patriarchs and Bishops of the Christian
churches in Iraq, driven also by pressure from our faithful, wish to express
our aspirations relative to the future of this country, in the hope that the
Iraqi people, which has had a long history marked by defeats and successes,
will be able, without religious or ethnic distinction, to live in freedom,
justice and respect for interreligious and multi-ethnic coexistence.

When Hammurabi sculpted his Code on the stone of this land, law became the
basis of the development of civilization.

When Abraham looked at the heavens above Ur, they opened up to him and, by
this revelation, Abraham became the Father of a multitude of peoples.

When Christianity and Islam met, their respective holy ones initiated the
two religions into a respectful and reciprocal coexistence.

In addition, by virtue of our original right of belonging to the most
ancient peoples of this land, we claim for ourselves and for all those who
live in it today, whether majority or minority, united by a long history of
coexistence, the full right to live in a State of law, in peace, freedom,
justice and equality, according to the Human Rights Charter. Consequently,
we Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syrians, Armenians, Greeks and Latins forming
together one Christian community, ask that the new Iraqi Constitution:

Recognize our religious, cultural, social and political rights;

Envision a legal statute in which each person will be considered according
to his or her capacities, without discrimination, so that each may have the
right to actively participate in the government and the service of this

Consider Christians as Iraqi citizens with full rights;

Guarantee the right to profess our faith according to our ancient traditions
and our religious law, the right to educate our children according to
Christian principles, the right to freely assemble and to build our places
of worship and our cultural and social centres according to our needs.
And, lastly, we make this appeal before everyone the Iraqi people, rich in
ethnicities and religions, the political and religious authorities, as well
as everyone who has the good of the country at heart, and the leaders of the
international community.

-- Andreas
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