Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako: Christian exodus from Iraq accelerates
The migration of Christians out of Iraq will accelerate. This was the view held by the head of the Chaldean-Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako.
In an interview with the international Catholic pastoral charity, Aid to the Church in Need given on Saturday, June 28th in Ankawa, near Erbil, he said, "When I was in Turkey recently ten Christian families from Mosul arrived. And in the space of only one week twenty families left Alqosh, a completely Christian town not far from Mosul. This is very serious. We are losing our community. If Christian life in Iraq comes to an end, this will be a hiatus in our history."
The head of the Chaldean-Catholic
Church, which is in full communion with Rome, sees the future of Christians in
Iraq as being under threat: "In ten years there will perhaps be 50,000
Christians left. Prior to 2003, this figure was about 1.2 million. Within ten
years we have shrunk to a community of perhaps four to five hundred thousand
The effects of the disintegration of the state on the country's Christian community are not yet definitively foreseeable in the view of Louis Raphael I. "To be honest we Bishops are somewhat at a loss at the present time. The future may lie in Kurdistan. Many Christians are already living there after all. But there are also many who live in Baghdad, and there are also some in Basra in the Shiite south. We must wait and see how things develop."
Sako sharply criticized the behavior
of the western states: "They find football more interesting than the
situation here or in Syria. Western policy only pursues economic interests. The
international community should put pressure on Iraqi politicians to make them
find a political solution and form a government of national unity."
With picture of Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako (©ACN)