Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Cardinal Louis Sako is concerned by rising tensions between the United States and Iran, fearful that his country, Iraq, could be caught in the middle of any potential conflict. It has also made a proposed visit by Pope Francis to Iraq next year uncertain, he said.
After enduring persecution, violence and uprooting, a group of Iraqi religious and laypeople are on the path to healing.
Iraq's sacrifices fighting the Islamic State group have earned the country greater support in its reconstruction efforts from the international community, Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said Saturday.
The prelates noted that Christians "are an authentic component and founder" in Syria and Iraq. They called for solidarity among all citizens to build peace, hope and unity.
Pope Francis has expressed a wish to visit Iraq in 2020. In discussing the turmoil in the Middle East, he condemned the hypocrisy of those who "talk peace" but foment war with arms sales and neglect to ameliorate the suffering of innocent people.
“There is little probability that another war in the most volatile region in the world, where the recent and current experiences of conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen are vivid, will succeed in bringing peace to the region."