Antelias, March 17th, 2008
The International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIPLIBAN) condemned the crime against the high Iraqi religious leader whose emblem was peace and serving the aged persons and patients, as it considered that this crime pointed an anti-faith testimony corrupting the culture of compassion between the Islamic and Christian generations in the joint Arab culture. The statement included the following:
1. The International Catholic Union of the Press condemns the recreant crime which killed the Bishop Paul Faraj Rahou, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul. It reached the most repugnant forms of criminality after abducting and detaining him for days, without taking into consideration his age and his deteriorating health, then burrying him without the knowledge of his family. This step carries too far the disdain of the assassins to the mores and values who killed a religious man known by his love for peace, the dialogue between the religions and by serving the indigents, the aged persons and patients. Therefore his testimony shows courage through difficulties in incarnation to his believes and considering him martyr of faith and endurance in the face of the contemporary terrorist oppression.
2. This denying ugly crime, of all what it aims at in its background and dimensions, attacks a religious man and dignified sheikh, the dear Iraqis and the whole sublime Iraqi nation. Therefore, it deepens the gap between the constituents, strikes some or expulses others, namely the Assyrians and Chaldeans who are the heir of the sublime civilization relating to thousands of years, and the effective partners in creating the Arab civilization in the land of the Rafidain.
3. We condemn all ideologies and doctrinal organizations which allow to its members the killings and bodily assassinations, and all kinds of torture, discrimination and disdain, and commit such crimes without ethical reason or human or theological legitimate justification. Thus, under the high levels of the trials of the current dialogue, the parishes of monotheistic religions, the Arab governments and the regional and global Islamic constitutions must not remain silent regarding such crimes occurring in the name of the religion, race and doctrine, for it involves serious consequences and retributions and includes the seeds of self-destruction translated in history as the destruction of the Arab home over its residents.
4. UCIP Liban praises the position of religious authorities and leaderships which condemned the crime and considered the Bishop Rahou martyr of faith, resistance and hope for the Christians, Muslims and the human community. Therefore the UCIPLiban claims everyone, especially the authorities and law enforcements in the Iraq and Arab, Islamic and global institutions to go beyond the oral illustrative condemn and to persecute the criminals, the inviters to the crime and the advocates of the violence culture against innocents, weak communities and unarmed persons.
In this regard, the Forum wonders what prevents the Islamic authorities which basically resorted to advisory opinions as a spiritual and ethical weapon to stop the crime and urge the beneficence. Especially that the Islamic heritage translates the several recommendations in the Koran and the sharif talks which release advisory opinions in this course, protect and defend the Arab Christians considered in the Islamic doctrines as the “closest relatives” and register: “throwing Zmia was hurting me and I Hajaija on Easter”. Incorporating such noble principles in tangible acts serve the peace and offer a clear evidence of the credibility of faith. This urges all believers to be on one fiducial side and to confront equally the material and consuming civilization and the violation of human dignity which encourages atheism.
5. The leaders of legist doctrines forget that the Eastern Christians are in their lands before the Muslims and favorite the Arabism and the Islam for better and for worse and are compatriots, partners and symbol of a national culture that encloses the religions not reduces them. In its circumstances, they carry their national causes without discrimination or segregation, they resist to the occupation in their own effective way using real weapons at times and intellectual and cultural weapons most of the time, and thus offering the great testimonies of cultural enrichment as well known. Neglecting these facts is a shame on those who pretend the resistance, faith and knowledge. Thus, the Forum considers that the displacement of the Christian communities in Iraq is similar to the trials of displacing the ancestors in one big family which is not accepted nor in the divine law or the human law.
6. The Forum fear the intersection of goals hidden in the foreign policies between the legist channels of the Arab world on one hand, and the Zionist channels and American centers of decision in the other hand which seek in direct or indirect cooperation to displace the Arab Christian communities from the region considering them the weakest link in the Middle East structure. Paving to way to establish religious and racial systems in the place of the current semi-civil systems, especially in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. The Arab Christians were the first to draw the attention to this project, well-know between the intelligentsias and enlightened in the Arab world, as they were the first to confront it until now. Thus all Arab people, Christians and Muslims, are invited today to perceive this reality prevent the displacement plans of others which shed the strike of the Christian pastors and then disperse the pastors and citizens.
7. The Forum presents its condolences to the Iraqi churches and its people. And hopes that the blood of the Bishop Paul Rahou who was kidnapped and martyrized after rendering the path of the Cross and before the week of the pain is a symbol of sacrifice and deliverance in the evening of Easter. In the hope that God promises in liberating the people from all kind of slavery and darkness come true.
Translated by: Joyce Tary