Chaldean patriarch: the time has come for Iraq to have a Christian party
There are prominent Christians in politics, law, and culture. For Cardinal Sako, it is essential to avoid dispersing strength and skills, dividing the community into parties and factions.
Chaldean Patriarch Card Louis Raphael Sako said that the time has come for Christians to set up their own party in order to be stronger and have greater representation, AsiaNews reported.
“Perhaps it is now necessary, before it is too late, to think and plan a unified Christian strategy,” writes the prelate in a note sent to AsiaNews for wider circulation. From this, “a document will be produced, to which everyone will adhere under a name such as ‘The Christian Parties Group’, or the Christian Alliance”.
The times has come for Christian elites to “think carefully about reviewing themselves and take responsibility for their reunification”, especially amid great challenges and difficulties, like emigration, marginalisation in employment, weak political representation and ineffective quota system, dispersion among Assyrian, Syriac and Chaldean parties, changing demographics in traditionally Christian regions, and constitutional change.
After the 2003 US invasion, years of confessional violence, and the military rise and fall of the still ideologically present Islamic State group, Iraq finds itself facing new issues.
The Christmas holidays have come at a critical moment for the country following the emergence after 1st October of a powerful, anti-government grassroots movement.
Despite harsh police repression, the largely non-sectarian protests have forced Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to resign, but the aim of protesters is to see the entire political class removed.
The authorities began cracking down in late November, after the Iranian consulate in Najaf was attacked twice. Since the start of the unrest, more than 450 people have been killed and some 20,000 injured.
Against this background, Card Sako believes that only an alliance between Christian parties and movements can allow Christians to play a greater role in decision-making in the central government, in Baghdad, and in the autonomous region of Kurdistan.
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Photo: Catholic News Agency