Chaldean Patriarch Calls for Law Against Religious Leaders Who Incite Violence

In Speech to Iraqi Parliament, Patriarch Says Without This Measure, There Won’t Be Peaceful Coexistence

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The Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako, has called for a law to prosecute religious preachers who incite violence.

According to Fides, the head of the Chaldean Church addressed this request to the Iraqi Parliament in a speech he gave there on Sunday, March 15, as part of a conference organized by the Parliamentary Committee for Religious Affairs. 

Given the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq, sectarian strife, and control by jihadists, he said, this measure is needed to protect the Middle East nation’s peaceful coexistence among its diverse citizens.

His remarks were made before the President of the Iraqi Parliament, the Sunni Salim al-Jabouri, and several deputies.

While outlining that peaceful coexistence among different religious communities is a shared heritage of Iraqi society, Patriarch Louis Raphael underscored that everyone, including religious leaders, must commit to preserving and defending the Iraqi people.

This involves, he noted, that such leaders «favor–even with preaching and contribution to education and school programs–the spread of the culture of pluralism and citizenship rights.»

In addition, the leader of the Chaldean Church also recalled how useful it could be «to initiate a reflection on a design of civil status that recognizes as beneficial to all the principle of distinction between religions and political institutions.» 

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