Muslims and Catholics Condemn Attacks on Churches in Iraq

Joint Statement Condemns Terrorist Acts

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Muslim and Catholic Church representatives have jointly condemned the attacks on churches in Iraq.

The presidents of the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee published a “Joint Statement on the Situation in Iraq,” in the wake of the four attacks on Christian churches in Baghdad and the two in Mosul early this month. The attacks left 10 dead and 50 wounded.

“We firmly condemn … the terrorist acts that continue to be perpetrated in Iraq and that involve also the civilian population,” affirmed a joint statement of professor Hamid Bin Ahmad Al-Rifaie, president of the Saudi Arabia-based International Islamic Forum for Dialogue, and Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

“We condemn in particular the suicide attacks in areas in which are located places of worship, both against Muslims and against Christians gathered for worship,” the document stated.

“Such acts of blind violence offend the sacred name of God and true religion,” it continued. “They evidence a gross misunderstanding of the history and culture of this sorely tried country. They represent a grave threat to peaceful coexistence and the ordered development of Iraqi society.”

The statement added: “It is our sincere hope that, with the help of the Almighty and Merciful God, the Iraqi people may finally enjoy the gift of peace, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and genuine collaboration among all its citizens of whatever religious tradition.”

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