.- Iraqi Christian leaders have issued a joint statement in response to the bombings of five churches on Saturday, October 16, condemning the attacks and all attacks on Christian or Muslim places of worship, and saying that the Christian communities will not leave Iraq, but rather, will “help to build an Iraq of peace, freedom democracy and tolerance.”
Fides News reports that leaders of Iraq’s Chaldean, Assyrian, Latin, Syrian, Armenian, Greek-Orthodox and other churches, refusing to be intimidated by terrorist attacks, stated that “Christians and Muslims have lived here side by side for more than 1,400 years and they intend to continue.”“We will not leave our country, we will stay here and help to build an Iraq of peace, freedom democracy and tolerance”.
As a sign of the cooperation that has always existed between the leaders of the Muslims and Christians in Iraq, Christian, Sunni and Shiite Muslims formed the Interreligious Council for Peace in Iraq last year to promote meetings and join activities and has firmly condemned violence in the name of religion.
The Council has also stated in the past that the religion is indispensable in the building of a new Iraq.
Three percent of the Iraqi population is Christian, three quarters being Chaldean Catholics.