IRAQI CHRISTIANS BEG FOR PEACE AND SECURITY
March 29 2010
"We’re waiting to see which direction and what guidelines the new
government will follow. We hope that the government’s plans call
for peace and security." This is what Fides learned from Archbishop
Avak Asadourian, Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Iraq and
Secretary General of the Iraqi Council of Christian Church Leaders,
which brings together leaders of 14 Christian churches in the country.
Commenting on the results of the elections, the Archbishop sees some
good signs: "Many citizens have participated in the vote. There was
a high level of participation among Christians, as well. Now all we
are waiting to see is which direction the government will take. We
hope that the guiding principle of action will be to ensure peace and
security to the nation, as this is the basis for genuine democracy
and for rebuilding infrastructure and work."
On the sentiments among leaders and the Christian community, the
Archbishop said, adding "The Christians have hopes for a stable and
strong government. We are citizens of Iraq and we have been in this
land, our home, for millennia. Politicians leading the country say
they hope that Christians will remain in the country and continue
to contribute. We ask them not to remain in good intentions, but to
put them into practice through works," ensuring a peaceful life to
Christian minorities, who are still under fierce attack.
On direct commitment in politics, Archbishop Asadourian says: "There
are now 5 Christians in Parliament and this is a step forward from
the previous Parliament, where there was only one. But it’s not
enough. We encourage lay Christians to become involved in social
life and engage in good politics, to support Christian values such
as respect for human dignity and fundamental human freedoms."
The Council of Christian Church Leaders in Iraq was established on
Feb. 10 in Baghdad as a coordinating body among the Christian leaders
in Iraq. It includes 14 communities: the Chaldean Catholic Church, the
Assyrian Church, the Assyrian Catholic Church, the Syrian Orthodox
Church, the Syro-Catholic Church, the Armenian-Orthodox Church,
the Armenian Catholic Church, the Greek Catholic Church, the Greek
Orthodox Church, the Latin Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church,
the Assyrian Evangelical Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church,
and the Coptic Orthodox Church.