Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq Photo: Catholic News.ie
A clergyman has stressed that Christians must take an active role in the country’s future if they want a unified, multi-religious Iraq.?Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil made the plea during a discussion of the country’s future with a US congressman.
This follows months of protests against Iraqi government corruption and perceived Iranian influence in the country.
Dr Warda said that younger Iraqis are a major part of the anti-corruption protests.?“The corruption is at its highest. There are no jobs, no security, the future is not there,” he said in a meeting with Republican Jeff Fortenberry on January 28.
The protesters, according to Dr Warda, “want a respectful relationship with all the international community respecting the sovereignty of Iraq in all its levels, political, social, religious, everything.
Christians, he said, had been welcomed into the protests, a sign of growing demand for a “genuine, multi-religious Iraq” built on a constitution that did not reflect Sharia law, but respected religious freedom.
Pope Francis met with Iraq’s President Barham Salih last week to discuss the need for stability in the country’s future, as well as the importance of Christians to maintaining the “social fabric” of Iraq.
The Church, Dr Warda said, supports this call for “change” and he encouraged citizens, especially the youth of Iraq, to show solidarity and push for a unified Iraq where Christians can enjoy equal rights and dignity.