Iraqi premier promises protection for Christians

Baghdad, Jan. 8, 2008 ( – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki met on January 8 with the apostolic nuncio in Baghdad, assuring the prelate that the government would take action to defend Christians against terrorist attacks.

The Iraqi leader denounced the series of car-bombings that had struck several Chaldean Catholic churches on Sunday, January 6, and told Archbishop Francis Chullikatt that the government would find and punish those responsible for the attacks.

Al Maliki’s office issued a statement after his meeting with the Vatican envoy, stressing the government’s desire to foster strong and friendly links with the nation’s Christian groups and insisting that peaceful coexistence is possible.

The Iraqi prime minister had offered a similar pledge of protection for Christian churches in October of last year, after Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly complained about the persistent attacks on Catholic churches and institutions.