The Chaldean Patriarchate and Caritas in Iraq today delivered aid to at least 2,000 Muslim families that were displaced from Tikrit and Anbar following the latest offensive by the Islamic State group. Speaking to AsiaNews, His Beatitude Mar Raphael I Louis Sako stressed the importance of this "fraternal initiative", made possible by those who drove and accompanied the lorries and other vehicles used in the delivery. "Our people wanted to express in a concrete way the solidarity of Christians towards their Muslim brothers and sisters, by alleviating their suffering,” said the head of the Church of Iraq.
"Christ commanded us to help people in need," the Chaldean Patriarch said, especially those "who we consider to be our brothers."
"We have come here today to express our sorrow for what is happening to our country, for the destruction, the killings, the hundreds of thousands of displaced people,” he said.
"We Christians have suffered a lot, especially in Mosul and the plain of Nineveh,” Mar Sako added.
Addressing the families of displaced Muslims that fled Tikrit and Anbar, he stressed that "we have come to tell you that we share your suffering and we love you."
Equally, he expressed hope for an “end to the tragedies” so that people "might be able to return to their homes and live in complete peace and security."
The initiative promoted by Christian leaders and community was well received, not only by the families that received aid, but also by Muslim leaders.
Two sheikhs, Mohamed and Mahmoud Ghurery, praised the closeness and solidarity of the Christian minority, calling it a “noble and fraternal initiative."
Both Muslim leaders said that they have not forgotten the many expressions of esteem and solidarity received in recent years from Christians, because today’s "is not the first time."
In fact, "The Christian religion is love,” they said, “and has now been embodied in an actual deed".
For them, "These initiatives build coexistence and boost trust,” they added. “God bless you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
Meanwhile, the ‘Adopt a Christian from Mosul’ campaign by AsiaNews continues. Over the past few months, hundreds of thousands of Christian, Yazidi, and Muslim families have received help after they fled their homes in Mosul and the Nineveh Plaint following jihadist attacks (to join the campaign, click here).
Through the initiative, about € 1.2 million (US$ 1.3 million) have been raised. Now the goal is to raise € 3.5 million (US$ 3.7 million) to provide housing to displaced people.
Source: Asia News