Masoud Barzani, Assyrian Patriarch highlight religious coexistence, freedom in Kurdistan Region

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Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani (right) in a meeting with Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Gewargis III, May 12, 2019. (Photo: Masoud Barzani’s website)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The religious coexistence and freedom in the Kurdistan Region led discussions on Sunday between the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, and a delegation of high religious representatives of the Assyrian church around the world. Barzani, who is also the former president of the Kurdistan Region, met with Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Gewargis III and an accompanying religious delegation, including bishops representing the Assyrian church from different parts of the world. In the meeting, Barzani and Gewargis III tackled the current political turmoil in Iraq and the Middle East, with a focus on religious acceptance in the world and emphasis on the necessity of brotherly respect between people despite their religion and ethnic background, a statement on the KDP leader’s website read. The discussions also included the Kurdistan Region’s practice of religious tolerance, the statement added. Both sides highlighted the autonomous Kurdish region as one of the few areas in the Middle East that has accepted religious equality throughout its history despite the various fundamentalist groups in the region. Gewargis III and his delegation of bishops thanked Barzani for his efforts and role in maintaining the peace between the different ethnicities in the Kurdistan Region while promoting and working toward religious acceptance and tolerance. Barzani currently holds no official governmental post but continues to remain a prominent political figure in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. Editing by Karzan Sulaivany