Members of US Congress urges restoration of Chaldean Patriarch to official position, cites concerns over targeting of Christian leaders in Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a recent development, two members of the US House of Representatives, Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-7) and John Moolenaar (R-MI-2), have sent a letter to President of Iraq Abdul Latif Rashid regarding decision to strip of Chaldean Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael Sako of his status as the recognized head of the Chaldean Church, which has been widely denounced internationally and led to demonstrations domestically. The letter calls for the immediate restoration of Patriarch Sako to his official position and the reinstatement of all powers that were previously vested in him.

Expressing their deep concern over the decision issued by the Federal Supreme Court regarding the Patriarch’s arrest, Representatives Slotkin and Moolenaar view it as sectarian targeting of Christian leaders. They emphasize the importance of safeguarding the rights and positions of religious leaders to ensure religious freedom and tolerance within Iraq.

On Tuesday, Patriarch Sako, accompanied by a delegation, met with the President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), Nechervan Barzani. The meeting centered on the matter of the Republican Decree and its implications.

During the meeting, President Barzani reiterated the principles of coexistence and acceptance of all religious and ethnic components within Iraq, emphasizing that the country’s strength lies in being a home for diverse communities.

Patriarch Sako expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the support shown by President Barzani. He emphasized that the KRI represents a place of coexistence and acceptance, where all communities find a sense of belonging. Despite the challenges posed by the recent developments, Patriarch Sako remains resolute in his commitment to continuing his duties and defending the values of coexistence and harmony in Iraq.

The situation remains closely monitored by international observers and concerned parties, as ensuring the well-being and rights of religious leaders is essential for promoting religious freedom and fostering a climate of tolerance and understanding in the region. The intervention of members of US Congress reflects the significance of addressing such matters to protect the interests of all communities and safeguard the values of diversity and unity within Iraq.