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INTERVENTION OF CARD. EMMANUEL III DELLY, PATRIARCH OF BABYLON OF THE CHALDEANS (IRAQ)



CARD. EMMANUEL III DELLY, PATRIARCH OF BABYLON OF THE CHALDEANS, PRESIDENT DELEGATE AD HONOREM:

Many people want to hear something about Iraq that today occupies an important position in the Middle East, a position that is a little bit, if I say, exagerated: I sincerely thank all those who have spoken about Iraq in this hall and have shown their sympathy for this country that is the cradle of Christians and especially the cradle of the Chaldean Church, the Eastern Church in the Persian Empire, and as of today, 78% of Mesopotamian Christians are Chaldean Catholics. The population of this country, crossed by two famous rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, is 24 million, all Muslims, with whom we live peacefully and freely. In Baghdad alone, the capital of Iraq, Christians have 53 chapels and churches. The Chaldeans have more than seven dioceses in the country, the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church lives today in Baghdad.
Christians are good with their fellow Muslims and in Iraq there is mutual respect among them. Christian schools are highly thought of. Today people prefer to attend these schools directed by the Christian institutions, especially those run by the religious orders.
Despite all the political and religious situations, and emigration, we now have nearly one million Christians in Iraq out of 25 million Muslims. We have the freedom of religion in our Churches.
The Bishop or Priest, religious leader is listened to and respected by his fellow citizens.
We have our own seminary, and Chaldean monks and nuns and religious.

[00189-02.03] [IN125] [Original text: Italian]




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