Beth Nahrin National Council sends letter to Pope Francis thanking him for visiting Iraq and asking for support of autonomy in Nineveh Plains

NINEVEH PLAINS, Iraq — Following his historic visit to Iraq several weeks ago, the Beth Nahrin National Council (MUB) sent a letter to Pope Francis expressing their appreciation and gratitude, particularly for his visit to the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian churches and communities in Baghdede (Qaraqosh) in Nineveh Plains. The visit brought joy and hope to the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people, read the letter.

In its letter, the MUB noted that the pope’s visit to the Church of Tahera was an expressive message to the people of Baghdede and the whole region about resurrection and renewal of life, adding that the MUB appreciates the support and projects established by the Vatican’s humanitarian organizations to help the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people and help ensure they can remain in their homeland. Cooperation between international and national organizations and government is needed to rebuild churches, villages, monuments, and cultural features following the crimes committed by the Islamic State and to ensure the place of Christianity in Iraq.

The Council stressed the need to strengthen local autonomy in political and security matters as many minority groups, including Iraq’s Christians, have been let down by the national and regional governments.

Read Also: A Future for Christians in Iraq: A Proposal from Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian Political Parties

In this regard, the Council requested the support of the Pope for the formation of an autonomous region in Nineveh Plains akin to the autonomy granted to the Kurdistan Region, in line with Article 119 of the Iraqi Constitution.

The Council pointed out that the desire for an autonomous region was also expressed by Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian political parties at a European Parliament sponsored conference about the future of Nineveh in 2017. During that conference, the parties that expressed the desire for autonomy were the Beth Nahrin Democratic Party, Bethnahrin Patriotic Union, the Chaldean Democratic Forum, the Chaldean National Council, the Syriac Chaldean Assyrian People’s Assembly, and the Kaldo Ashur Organization.

For the article in Arabic, see SyriacPress Arabic