l-r: Archbishop Nona of Mosul, Archbishop Warda of Erbil, Hermann Van Rompuy (President, Council of Europe), Jürgen Liminski (ACN Director of Information) Johannes von Habsburg (Catholic Radio & TV Network)
Bishops describes plight of Iraqi Christians to EU president by Jurgen Liminski and John Pontifex. Independent Catholic News (ICN), Wednesday, September 14, 2011 9:26 pm.
The plight of Christians in Iraq has been highlighted in a meeting between two leading bishops from the country and the President of the Council of Europe, Hermann Van Rompuy.
In their meeting with Mr Van Rompuy on Tuesday, 13 September, Archbishops Bashar Warda of Erbil and Amil Nona of Mosul said there was no religious freedom in Iraq.
The two Chaldean-rite bishops stressed the need for Christians to receive help to build schools, saying that with Muslims filling 90 percent of places available, Church-run education schemes benefitted the whole of society.
Archbishop Warda said: "Education would help to develop a new culture as well as freedom of religion, opening up new perspectives for young people."
The half-hour meeting in Brussels took place in the framework of visits organised by Aid to the Church in Need.
During the discussions, Mr Rompuy asked about people's living conditions in Iraq, women's rights and how Europe could help. Both bishops have given bold witness to the suffering of Christians and others in Iraq.
Christians and church buildings in Archbishop Nona's Archdiocese of Mosul have come under repeated attack and his own predecessor, Archbishop Boulos Faraj Rahho died in captivity in March 2008.
Speaking in March in London at the launch of Aid to the Church in Need's 'Persecuted and Forgotten?' report on oppressed Christians, Archbishop Warda stated that since 2003 up to 500 Christians had been killed for specifically religious or political reasons.
He added that over the same period 66 churches had been attacked and that 4,000 Iraqi Christian families had fled to his diocese of Erbil in Kurdish northern Iraq to escape violence and intimidation.
In the meeting with Mr Van Rompuy, both bishops highlighted human rights concerns stemming from Article Three of Iraq's constitution, which enshrines the supremacy of Islamic Shari'a law.
Archbishop Warda said: "Article Three of Iraq's constitution grants primacy to Islamic Shari'a law – no legislation is permitted to violate the Shari'a."
The bishops also met Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), European Union Commission officials and Hans-Gert Pöttering, the former President of the European Parliament and present Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The meetings demonstrate the EU's growing concern about Christians in the Middle East.
ROME, SEPT. 16, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Two prelates from Iraq told the president of the Council of Europe that there is simply no religious freedom in the country.
Archbishops Bashar Warda of Erbil and Amil Nona of Mosul affirmed this when they met with Hermann Van Rompuy last Tuesday, Aid to the Church in Need reported.
The two Chaldean-rite archbishops stressed to the European leader that there is a need for Christians to receive help to build schools, saying that Church-run education would benefit the whole society.
"Education would help to develop a new culture as well as freedom of religion, opening up new perspectives for young people," Archbishop Warda said.
The half-hour meeting in Brussels took place in the framework of visits organized by Aid to the Church in Need.
During the discussions, Rompuy asked about living conditions in Iraq, women's rights and how Europe could help.
Both bishops highlighted human rights concerns stemming from Article 3 of Iraq's constitution, which enshrines the supremacy of Sharia law.
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
2: a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern
Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of
its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender
4: a democratic state that believes in the freedom of
religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the
principles of the United Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle
ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding
hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the
East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.
These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the
Christian Era. No one can coherently understand the Assyrians
as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church
from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly
difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for
in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control,
religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a
criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean,
Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu,
Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye,
Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. —
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.