Chaldean Bishops in U.S. Ready to Work for New Iraq

SAN DIEGO, MAY 12, 2003 (ZENIT.orgFides).- U.S. bishops of the Chaldean rite say they are «ready to work in harmony and collaboration with all the other religious and ethnic groups in Iraq,» the Chaldean News Agency reported.

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In a recent report the bishops showed their support in building a new Iraq based on the principles of territorial integrity, respect for human rights and minority groups, democracy, pluralism, and religious freedom.

Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim of the St. Thomas Apostle Eparchy in Detroit, Michigan, and Bishop Mar Sarhad Yawsip of the St. Peter Apostle Eparchy in San Diego, California, called for:

– Constitutional recognition of the Chaldeans as part of the Iraqi population, with cultural, administrative, and political rights.

– Representation at the governmental level.

– Respect for the Aramaic culture and language and the possibility of teaching it in schools.

– The right to return to their ancestral villages and lands.

– A constitution that guarantees freedom of religions, in a clear situation of separation of state and religion.

The appeal was published by the U.S.-based Chaldean News Agency, which recently re-launched its online service supplying news, reports, and testimonies from the Chaldean community all over the world. Since the war in Iraq, the agency has become a major point of reference for spreading news on Christians of the Chaldean rite, who intend to help build a new Iraq where democracy, equality, freedom of worship and evangelization prevail.

The Chaldean News Agency is supported by the two eparchies in the United States, totaling 150,000 Chaldean Christians in addition to some 100,000 Christians of Syro-Malabar rite, very similar to those of the Chaldean rite in language, origin, and culture.

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