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Cardinal Sako: Coexistence in Peace and Mutual Respect is the Only Solution for Iraq
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The ethnic roots of Iraqi Christians can be traced back to thousands of years, as they are descendants of the Chaldean (Abraham of Ur), Assyrians, Aramaics, and the Arabic tribes of "Tay", Taghleb and Al-Manathera. Furthermore, their roots as faithful can be drawn from the dawn of Christianity and the Church of "Kukhi" as one of the oldest Churches in the countryside of Baghdad stands as a historical monument since the end of the first Century.

When Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula came to Iraq, Chaldean, Assyrian, and Syriac Christians made a distinctive contribution to develop their societies at that time by "merging", relying on their faith, cultural, and human values in enhancing coexistence.

In spite of the organized campaigns aimed to uprooting Iraqi Christians and other religious components from their land, displacing and pushing them to emigrate, many of those indigenous people chose not to abandoned their Iraqi identity but rather committed themselves to the values ​​of tolerance, love and peace.

Unfortunately, it is painful to hear from time to time, as has happened recently, offensive words that urge hatred, exclusion and abuse of the values held along the history by these people, without distinguishing between what is civil -- societal and that related to sacred privacy of believing in One God and the worshop liturgies linked to it.

On this occasion, I urgently call upon all Christians and Muslims to free themselves from the "old-fashion" mentality, and open up to each other in a way that allows each side to learn about others' religion "from its' original sources" in order to be free from "ignorance" and to deepen the common sense that we share.

In conclusion, coexistence in peace and mutual respect is the only path that leads to a "bright" future for us in this part of the world. Along with the protection of religions from fanatic thoughts and all what provoke hatred and violence.

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