Iraq

Caritas calls for an Iraq based on equality, justice and understanding

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Caritas is urging all Iraqis to join together in building communities based on equality, justice and understanding. Caritas says the people of Iraq have a rich heritage of communities of different religious and ethnic backgrounds that must endure.

Caritas condemns the violence in the country that targets innocent people, whether Shiite or Sunni Muslims or the minority Christian population.

Anti-Christian violence in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul erupted on 4 October when gunmen started targeting Christians and threatening others, forcing them to leave the city. More than 2,200 families, or some 13,000 people, fled their homes.

Caritas Iraq launched an appeal to provide those families with access to food and other aid items and to shelter.

Caritas Iraq works regardless of religion or ethnicity or political affiliation.

Caritas Middle East and North Africa (MONA) President Joseph Farah expressed his deep sadness at the killings and displacement of the Mosul Christians. He called for getting back some cohesion in the authentic Iraqi population

Mr. Farah said, "The attacks in Mosul go against faith in one God. They go against efforts to rebuild Iraq based on equality, justice and understanding. These values stem from the authentic Iraqi civilization with all its components, of which Christians are an integral and genuine part."

He called for help to support Iraqis recovering their bonded human mosaic. Approximately one third of the 800,000 Christians living in Iraq before 2003 have now left the country and many more are internally displaced. Christians have lived in Iraq since the second century.

He praised the work of Caritas Iraq.

Last year alone, Caritas Iraq helped 20,000 babies and children, 5000 pregnant women and 3,500 new mothers. Caritas Iraq provide peace-building training to people across their divided society.

Caritas also works closely with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society.