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Without Christians, Iraq is Deprived of Identity

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Uploaded on Dec 24, 2010

Forty days after the tragic attack on the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, the Iraqi embassies to Italy and the Holy See organized an event to commemorate the victims of the October 31st massacre, which killed 55 people who had gathered in the church to pray."This terrible act has shaken human consciences and opened deep wounds in the heart of the Iraqi nation," said Mr Habeeb Al-Sadr, Iraq's ambassador to the Holy See. He was speaking in the presence of some of the wounded during the attack who had received treatment at Rome's Gemelli hospital. "The Christian martyrs," he said, "occupy a place of honor in the hearts of Iraqis."The diplomat added that Iraq cannot breathe its essence if it doesn't have its two lungs, Muslim and Christian. An Iraq without Christians, he said, "is an Iraq deprived of its identity and symbols."For his part, Mgr. Mikhael Al Jamil, procurator of the Patriarchate of Antioch of the Syrians to the Holy See, expressed concern about a policy that tries to make the Middle East into a simple conglomerate "of religions, sects and various other components shaped by political designs." He said this would only result in the destruction of a true and good Middle East, and instead create a monster, one that always needs to be hospitalized and treated in the hospital of international politics. It's a kind of politics, he continued, that is "without history, without tradition, without religious ethics, with no Redeemer, and without God."Also speaking at the event was Maurizio Melani, who just a month earlier ended his tenure as Italy's ambassador in Baghdad. He expressed the solidarity and closeness of the Italian Government and people to the Iraqis. Also attending were Mr. Salah Al Bazaz and Mr. Abdul Latif, representatives of the Iraqi community in Rome.Other participants at the event included Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and the ambassadors of Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Philippines, Japan and Korea.

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