BAGHDAD, Iraq, SEPT. 17, 2003 (Zenit.org).-The Chaldean bishops of Iraq have asked Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator for the country, to help guarantee the rights of their faithful.
The 19 bishops who signed the statement asked Bremer to "guarantee the rights -- religious, civil, social and political -- of all Christians of Iraq, first among them our Chaldean people."
The bishops recall that Christian Chaldeans are the descendants of the ancient inhabitants of Iraq. In recent decades thousands had to leave their land, willingly or forcefully, as their culture was suppressed.
Chaldeans are the third ethnic community in Iraq, after the Arabs and Kurds. Among the Christians, they constitute about three-quarters of the total.
In their statement, reported by Fides, the bishops affirmed: "We declare here our solidarity with all Iraqi citizens, Arabs, Kurds and Tremens, and all ethnic and religious groups living in peaceful brotherhood, especially with our Christian brethren: the Assyrians, the Syriacs, the Armenians and the Latins, for the purpose of building a new, democratic, free and prosperous Iraq."
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