Baghdad – “Iraq is not Iraq without Christians”, said Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi on Thursday 18 February, receiving the members of the Council of Heads of Christian communities present in the country. “We Iraqis” remarked the Prime Minister during the meeting “are strong in our cultural and religious plurality, and we will remain a symbol of coexistence, tolerance and true citizenship, despite all the pitfalls of obscure groups which failed in their plans to destroy the our wonderful country”.
The presence of indigenous Christian communities in Iraq since apostolic times – the Iraqi political leader remarked – confirms the capacity for openness that characterizes the civilizations that have followed since ancient times in Mesopotamia.
Al Kadhimi, a former journalist and former head of Iraqi secret services, friend of Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, had expatriated to Great Britain in the 1980s, and after obtaining British citizenship he returned to his homeland only after the military interventions carried out by the international coalitions led by the United States which ended with the fall of the Baathist regime.
During his meeting with the representatives of the local Christian communities, the Prime Minister reiterated that political institutions are called upon to fight corruption and promote a coexistence of solidarity between the different social and religious components, affirming the principle of citizenship and protecting the various religious affiliations from any sectarian discrimination. Armenian Apostolic Archbishop Avak Asadourian, current Secretary of the Council of Leaders of Iraqi Christian communities, speaking on behalf of the entire delegation praised the efforts of the current Iraqi government to protect the nation’s cultural and religious pluralism.
In June 2020, shortly after the current Prime Minister took office, during a visit to Mosul and the province of Nineveh (see Fides, 12/6/2020) Mustafa al Kadhimi had expressed his bitterness and apprehension in the face of the silent exodus that is killing Christian communities rooted for millennia in the territories of ancient Mesopotamia.
Source: Agenzia Fides