A letter from Archbishop Eustathius Matta Roham to President of Iraq
A letter from Archbishop Eustathius Matta Roham of the Syrian Orthodox
Archdiocese of Jazirah and the Euphrates to His Excellency Mr Jalal Talabani.
His Excellency Mr Jalal Talabani
President of the Republic of Iraq
It is with deep sadness and pain that the entire world has received the news of the criminal hostilities enacted against the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad.
These hostilities mark a new episode in the series of terrorist actions which dear Iraq has witnessed over many years. Following this most awful crime which targeted the innocent, it is essential to pause and reflect on it and its results and how far they will reach.
The Christians of the East see this crime as a malevolent attempt to change the demography of Iraq, an overt breach of the divine ordinance and natural law, committed by those who belong to the ignorance and darkness of this world.
Our great confidence in Iraq, both government and people, pushes us to put the responsibility on all to protect Iraqi Christians, and to make secure for them all means of security and stability.
The continuation of this bloody chain of attacks, and the current political strife, is weakening the very existence of the state and is rocking the confidence of the citizens in it.
It is our duty to remind our Muslim brothers of their responsibility to protect the souls, churches, and possessions of their Christian brothers; something that Islam has practiced throughout history. The one who transgresses the honourable hadeeth, "He who hurts a dhimmi has hurt me," transgresses his Islamic faith, and becomes a stranger to good morals.
We call on you, Mr President, to take stern measures to combat those devils who commit terrorism and those who support them, and to secure the protection of all the citizens and especially the Christians and the other religious groups that have become minorities within the fabric of Iraqi society, and are in fact an essential component of it, and are indispensable in the beautiful picture of Iraq.
We pray to God, glorified on high, to embrace the martyrs of the Church of Our Lady of Salvation and all the martyrs of Iraq in His infinite mercy, and to give them a place in His eternal Paradise of bliss, and to bestow His speedy healing on the wounded, and to shower down his balm of consolation on the hearts of their families, and to strengthen the national unity among the Iraqis, so that they can move their wounded country forward into a brighter future.
May God grant you success, both government and people, so that you may fulfil goodness and peace in all parts of our beloved Iraq.
Eusthathius Matta Roham,
Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Jazirah and the Euphrates.
Source: Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate