Iraqi Christian leader speaks of improving security situation

Emmanuel Delly III, the Iraqi head of the Chaldean Christian church has said that security for Christians is improving Iraq.

Delly was one of 23 Roman Catholic leaders recently appointed cardinals by the Pope.

He told Adnkronos International (AKI), “The security situation in Iraq is improving for everyone, including us Christians.

“Christians in Iraq are not separated from other members of society so if the security situation improves, everyone will benefit.”

Delly spoke of the importance of unity in Iraq and of the cohesion between the diverse groups in the country.

Approximately 70 per cent of Christians in Iraq are part of the Chaldean community. The Chaldean Church recognises the authority of the Pope, despite being aligned with eastern rite churches and having its own liturgy and leadership.

Around three per cent of Iraq’s population are Christian (600,000-800,000 people), although many Iraqi Christians fled the country for fear of sectarian violence following the allied invasion of 2003.

On the subject of inter-religious dialogue Delly said to AKI, “I hope that the Vatican continues to speak to other religions. Our objective is not to proselytise but to collaborate and live together with others.”

The Chaldean Church is also found in other parts of the world including the US, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Australia.