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.
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