For the Chaldean Church, it is crucial to revamp the foundational charter of the state on the basis of the principles of equality and human rights. Some sharia-based rules are unacceptable in a modern and civilian state. The conflict between Arabs and Kurds, and between Erbil and Baghdad, is likely to trigger a new Christian exodus.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - For Iraq’s rebirth, it is necessary to reform the constitution, “which is the basis of the country’s unity,” and enshrine the principles of equality and human rights, this according to Mgr Shlemon Audish Warduni, auxiliary bishop of Baghdad.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the right-hand man of the Chaldean patriarch Louis Sako, reiterated the commitment of Christians "to peace, security and civil coexistence". Iraq is a rich land, he noted, but it "lacks the will" to achieve this.

Such a goal requires a renewed commitment of the various components of the nation, on the basis of the principle of equality. All citizens must be equal before the constitution. In fact, no nation in the world can "exist without a Charter", Mgr Warduni said.

At the same time, reconstruction after years of war and sectarian violence must be based on the pillars of "justice and freedom." However, the prelate wonders how can we talk about "freedom of conscience" when the basis of governance is "sharia, Islamic law," which guarantees a dominant position to Muslims over other ethno-religious groups.

In the past, the leaders of the Iraqi Church expressed their opposition to Iraq’s controversial constitution, in particular Article 37-2, which does not protect religious freedom and the rights of minorities.

In September 2015, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako sent a letter to Parliament asking for an amendment to the paragraph that says that a minor must be registered as a Muslim if one of the two parents converts to Islam.

Recently, the Chaldean Patriarch, on a visit to France, called for changes to Iraq’s constitution to ensure the "equality of all citizens", and that religion would be a matter of "personal choice". Religion, the prelate explained, should not influence the normal conduct of state affairs.

Full story: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?art=42339&l=en


Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil's provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour's mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord's fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour's own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out'; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' - with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil - and I will give you rest.'

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ