Iraq Violence Strikes Christians and Muslims Alike, Says Patriarch

BAGHDAD, Iraq, OCT. 5, 2004 ( In the face of the attacks and kidnappings taking place in Iraq, the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad appealed for aid and prayers from foreign countries.

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«Also today there are victims,» Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly told AsiaNews. «Let us pray that God will enlighten the minds of those who commit these evil acts.»

Commenting on recent cold-blooded killing of several Christians, the patriarch said that «the violence strikes Christians and Muslims. Many Muslims are kidnapped and killed. In these harsh and dark days, the destiny is common for both communities.»

He added: «We are one family and we must work together so that peace will prevail in a country tormented for many years.»

Today, Simona Torretta and Simona Pari, the two Italian women volunteers who were kidnapped and released in Iraq, met with John Paul II at the Vatican.

The Chaldean patriarch acknowledged that the Chaldean Church helped with their liberation. «We did everything possible to obtain the liberation of the two young women. We knocked on all doors until the Lord opened one,» he said.

He added: «There are many more hostages in the hands of kidnappers. We hope that they will also be released.»

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