Hiwa Shilani |
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani. (Photo: Archive)
Kurdistan Iraq Christians Masrour Barzani ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Saturday extended his condolences to Archbishop Bashar Mati Warda, the head of the Chaldean Archdiocese, and the head of the family of deceased Priest Dinha Toma Youssef.
Youssef, the priest of Koya and Harmuta of the Catholic Chaldean Church, died in a tragic car accident on the Erbil-Koya road on Saturday.
Prime Minister Barzani expressed in a statement his “great sadness” about the priest’s death.
“I offer my condolences to your Excellency [Archbishop Bashar Mati Warda], the family of the deceased, and the Christians all over the Kurdistan Region,” the statement read.
“May he rest in peace, and I ask of the almighty to bring amity and patience to his family and loved ones.”
Christians in Iraq have been subjected to increased rates of violence since 2003, prompting many to move to the autonomous Kurdish region while others left for Europe and America for security reasons.
Iraq’s Christian population is believed to have nearly halved since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
After the emergence of the so-called Islamic State in northern Iraq in June 2014, many Christians from different parts of Iraqi fled to the Kurdistan Region and abroad.
According to unofficial data, the Kurdistan Region is home to 320,000 Christians.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany