Chaldean Patriarch Fears Iraqi Christian Exodus
Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako remarks on ISIS, the future of Iraq, and the responsibility of the West
Ankawa (kath.net/ACN). The emigration of Christians from Iraq will greatly accelerate. The Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, expressed this opinion in an interview with the international Catholic relief organization Aid to the Church in Need on Saturday, June 28, 2014, in Ankawa near Erbil.
Aid to the Church in Need: Do you have any hope that Iraq will survive as a federal state?
Patriarch Louis Rafael I Sako: No. Maybe a symbolic unity and the name Iraq will continue to exist. But de facto there will be three independent zones with their own economies and armies.
ACN: What are the consequences of this collapse of the state for the Christians of Iraq?
Patriarch Sako: That is the question. To be honest, at the present moment we bishops are somewhat at a loss. Possibly the future lies in Kurdistan. Many Christians already live there, after all. But there are also many who live in Baghdad, and many in Basra, too, in the Shiite South. We must wait for further developments.
ACN: On Friday the Synod of the Chaldean Church in Erbil concluded. Did you decide on measures to be taken with regard to the Christian refugee crisis from territories occupied or threatened by the ISIS?