Chaldean patriarch urges preservation of rights for Iraq’s diverse communities

Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako speaks with Rody Sher of ACI MENA. / Credit: ACI Mena

ACI MENA, Mar 12, 2024 / 16:15 pm (CNA).

As the 21st anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq approaches, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, patriarch of the Chaldean Church, has called for a reevaluation of the country’s entire political process, which is currently based on sectarianism and quota-sharing.

Advocating for the establishment of a new consensus formula, Sako argued that adopting a formula based on full citizenship would guarantee a better future for Iraqis, preserving the mosaic of its communities and their rights, which he described as “the beauty of Iraq.”

Referencing Ramadan, Sako expressed regret that “this holy month arrives while the destructive war continues in the holy lands, with conflicts here and there, and violations of human rights, freedom, and dignity.”

Sako underscored that peace is not merely an idea but a vital life project that must be cultivated and embodied in our daily lives.

Sako called for the establishment of a democratic civil state in Iraq, founded on equal rights and duties for all citizens, capable of embracing everyone.

The patriarch is known for frequently voicing his concerns about the “spread of corruption and hypocrisy, and the lack of serious attention to building a sovereign state, a state of law, justice, equality, and citizenship, and ensuring a safe and dignified life for citizens.”

As a Chaldean Christian figure in Iraq and globally, Sako has consistently advocated for the rejection of division and hatred, respect for Iraqi human rights, and the promotion of values of coexistence.

Last year, Sako withdrew from Baghdad to Erbil in protest against the decision by the president of Iraq to withdraw the presidential decree regarding Sako’s appointment as the patriarch of the Chaldean Church in Iraq and the world, along with his management of its endowments. The Chaldean Patriarchate attributed this to pressure from an armed faction.

This story was first published by ACI Mena, CNA’s Arabic-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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