Chaldeans demand self-rule for Iraqi Christians

ARBIL: The Secretary-General of Iraq’s National Chaldean Council, Dhia Petros, demanded the Iraqi government and the world at large on Friday to provide protection for Iraqi Christians, through the formation of special forces from the members of the Christian community and to grant them self-rule in their areas.

“Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s call for the establishment of a special region for the Christian community in Ninewa, was based on his keenness to settle the problem of Christians in Baghdad and Mosul, following recent attacks against them,” Petros told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

He added that “the isolation of Christians from their Muslim brothers is not a correct solution because we don’t want to be isolated.”

Petros stressed that “the new government and parliament are demanded to enact a law that guarantees the rights of Christians and protects them by granting them self-rule and the formation of protection forces from the members of their community”.

“The Christian MPs in the previous Iraqi parliament had called on the cabinet to provide protection for Christians,” he added.

Regarding the Christian representation in the new Iraqi government, Petros said “We have five MPs, representing us in parliament, both in the previous and the current session, but we are striving to be represented in one ministerial post so we can be part of a government of national partnership”.

The Chaldean Catholic Church, is an Eastern particular church of the Roman Catholic Church, maintaining full communion with the Bishop of Rome and the rest of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Chaldean Catholic Church presently comprises an estimated 1,500,000 Chaldean Christians