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Iraq: Chaldean Patriarch Reaches out to Muslims for the Eid al-Fitr Festival

‘Let’s come out from the dark together, and let’s forgive each other.’

Authentic reconciliation, which Iraq urgently needs, manifests itself in putting aside contrasts and forgiving each other with courage. The Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako said this in a message addressed to all Muslims, defined by him as “our brothers in humanity”, on the occasion of the Eid al Fitr, the Islamic festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the month dedicated to fasting, reported Fides News Agency on June 3, 2019.

Faced with the suffering of the Iraqi people in recent years – massacres, destruction and the forced exodus of a large part of the population of northern Iraq – the Chaldean Patriarch proposes again the possibility of living “human Fraternity” in peace as the only reasonable option for the future, which recognizes equal dignity, equal rights, and equal duties. The formula used in this passage by the Patriarch contains an implicit reference to the document on human brotherhood signed in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and by Grand Imam of Al Azhar, on 4 February. The Iraqi nation – underlines the Patriarch – is “shared heritage” by citizens belonging to every social and religious group. And now more than ever the responsibility to guarantee and encourage coexistence between the different groups must inspire the institutions. “I want to share these thoughts and desires with you”, wrote the Patriarch in his message to the Muslims “because I trust that each of us is able to recognize that such a reform must come from within and should not be entrusted to other agents operating from outside, bearing in mind that the Iraqis no longer have the strength to endure other wars”. At the end of the message, Cardinal Sako prays so that God blesses Iraqis with peace, stability and the happy return of many refugees to their homes.

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