Iraqi Catholic bishop denounces religious fundamentalism

 “Guarantee peace and security to obtain democracy” saids the Chaldean Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad in an interview in Rome.
“To the Christians of the West, I first of all ask that they pray for peace, then that they raise awareness and place pressure on governments to make political action be based on dialogue and not on economic and commercial interests,” said Bishop Shlemon Warduni, Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, in his testimony to “Glimpses of the Christians of the Middle East,” a cultural event sponsored by the Custody of the Holy Land, Edizioni Terra Santa, the Italian Catholic Action Movement, and the International Forum of Catholic Action during the ongoing Synod on the Middle East being held at the Vatican.

Bishop Warduni thus describes the situation in Iraq, “The situation is very tragic, we have experienced so many wars, the regime, the sanctions that have strangled us little by little until we almost die, then the occupation of the Allies. Dead, killed, maimed, orphans, widows: there is war and there is fundamentalism, and for seven years now we have continued walking backwards. The war has above all marked children and young people: there is the resignation of not having a future, not being assured of a secure life in their country. We want democracy, but democracy is not as we have it, leaving the house without knowing whether you will return.”

“We cannot really refer to it as real civil war,” said Bishop Warduni, but “the worst enemy of the Iraqi people is religious fundamentalism.”