The Church of the Virgin Mary, Basra, Iraq The Church of the Virgin Mary, Basra, Iraq 

Call for Christians to return home to Iraq

The Iraqi Prime Minister has called on Christians to return home to Iraq after the defeat of the so-called Islamic State.

By Nathan Morley

The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported that the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, said with the defeat of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq, Iraqi Christian immigrants should return home.

He was quoted by the AINA as saying he was serious about providing assistance to Christian families and solving their problems. ‘Iraq,’ he said ‘was country for everyone, and that Christians are the original children of the country’.

‘We are glad that Christians will return to Iraq and contribute to its reconstruction. Iraqis of all sects are yearning for a new Iraq that believes in peace and rejects violence.’

On Sunday, Al-Kazemi met with Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, who hoped the Iraqi government would continue to meet the aspirations of the people and enable it to address many of the challenges facing the country.

He said there are a large number of Christians that want to return to Iraq.

‘The Church supports Al-Kazemi's steps towards achieving security and stability throughout Iraq,’ he said. ‘Christians are proud of their Iraqi identity, and they feel more reassured, in light of the serious handling of the Al-Kazemi government with the Christian file.’

According to ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ (ACN) several Iraqi Christians who fled in 2014 have returned return but face difficulties, including a lack of security and intimidation.

Listen to the report

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13 August 2020, 12:45