Iraq: Islam: Bishop of Kirkuk: Ramadan of great anguish for Christians and Muslims

In recent days several attacks in Iraqi cities have killed dozens of innocent people. At the same time, two churches were affected, bringing to 52 the number of churches bombed in the country. The Archbishop of Kirkuk appeals for peace.
Kirkuk – In the middle of the holy season of Ramadan in Iraq and throughout the Middle East violence is growing and the dark clouds of international and civil war gathering. Louis Sako, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk asked AsiaNews to spread his message so that all, Christians and Muslims, East and West, become builders of peace.

During this period, our anguish and trails continue on a daily basis. In Iraq in recent days there have been dozens of deaths, Christians and Muslims. In two weeks two churches in Kirkuk have been bombed, bringing to 52 the number of churches targeted in Iraq. I admire the courage of my people!

In Syria, where many Iraqis are refugees, there are riots and deaths. The slow haemorrhaging exodus of our faithful continues, like a cancer! It saddens us from the depths of our hearts.

In this land of the Middle East, the land of Abraham, the prophets and Jesus, threats weigh us down and we perceive the extent to which we lack peace. The same peace that the world talks about and that we yearn for … But who really wants it? And who really wants to help to achieve it with all their strength? How many people commit themselves to comfort this agony and terror?

Christians, Muslims and people of good will throughout the world must pray for peace and do something concrete for peace, to make our lives and the lives of our children in this agitated region better.

Our Muslim brothers will soon be celebrating the feast of sacrifice, Id al Kabir, after the long month of fasting of Ramadan [celebrated] in this stifling heat wave. We must take this prayer seriously before it is too late! It is urgent that Christians and Muslims accept a true dialogue and seek to build mutual trust, creating together with one another the peace that is the basis of our lives.

“Arise, Lord, raise your hand, do not forget the poor” (Psalm 9, 33).