Baghdad – There will be no decorated Christmas trees in the churches or streets, no celebrations and no reception at the patriarchate. The head of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church announced that the community would not hold public celebrations of Christmas out of respect for those killed and wounded in recent anti-government protests, that have caused so far hundreds of deaths across the country, and continue even after the resignation of Premier Adel Abdel Mahdi.
In particular, the traditional receptions that see political and religious authorities at the Patriarchate headquarters to exchange Christmas greetings with the Patriarch and his collaborators have been cancelled. Only moments of prayer and intercession will take place for the souls of the victims and to invoke the return of Peace in the whole country. Patriarch Sako – sources of the Chaldean Patriarchate report – invites us to transform the resources saved in donations for orphanages and hospitals.
In recent days, in a text also released by the Chaldean patriarchate, Patriarch Sako had also tried to give a “theological interpretation” of the protest demonstrations that shake some Middle Eastern countries, introducing it with a historical reference to Latin American liberation theologies: “Liberation Theology” reads the text signed by the Patriarch and Cardinal Raphael Louis Sako “was born from the pain and anguish of the Latin American countries, due to the political, administrative and financial corruption present in most of those Countries”. In a similar manner – continues the comparison of the Patriarch — the reasons of these demonstrations under way for almost two months in Iraq and Lebanon, which see above all young people of both sexes, are the devotion to one’s Homeland, the desire to see “legitimate human rights” guaranteed and to put an end to the drifts of sectarianism, social exclusion and corruption” that have dominated the country since 2003 (the year in which Saddam Hussein’s regime was overthrown by an international coalition led by the US, ed).