With elections just days away, and after weeks of violence by Muslim extremists that have left numerous Christians dead, the Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, called on “all Iraqis to cast their votes for the good of Iraq.”
Speaking to the Italian news agency SIR, the cardinal said, “We are praying that everything will take place orderly and without violence. We will do everything in our power for the good of the country and the people.”
He then condemned the violence of recent days, which has pitted “Iraqis against Iraqis, parties against parties, each one fighting for his own interests ... These are internal struggles that are leaving many victims.”
The Patriarch also commented on his recent visit to Mosul, where Muslim extremists recently killed eight Christians. “I met with the Christian population and with civil officials from local communities who came to the chancery to speak with me. They are all in agreement about working and collaborating to restore calm and safety to the city,” he said.
“For our part, we are praying for peace and reconciliation. We have the Synod for the Middle East on the horizon, which will be an occasion to work not only for Iraq but for the entire region,” he added.
Also urging participation in the elections was Auxiliary Bishop Shelmon Warduni of Baghdad who told the Fides news agency, “We exhort all Christians to vote and to elect candidates who will work for the good of Iraq, so that human rights and religious freedom will reign again in the country.”