Berri urges Arabs, Muslims to protest against attacks on Iraqi Christians
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday urged Arab and Muslim leaders as well as religious authorities to protest against attacks targeting Iraqi Christians and called on the Arab League to convene in Mosul "on the level of Arab endowments ministers."
In a statement, Berri said: "We are sure that the Christians in Iraq, as well as the Muslims, are the victims of conspiracies and sectarian strife aiming to weaken the country and split it apart."
"What our brotherly Christians in Baghdad, Mosul and the Nineveh Plains have been exposed to, from persecution to killing and displacement, has bled our hearts and wounded our souls," he added. "It has made us realize that our dear Iraq is still living in a state of concern about its fate."
The head of the legislature called on Arab leaders and their religious authorities to "raise their voice" in condemnation of the attacks against Iraqi Christians, "as they have previously done to condemn attacks against Muslims."
"I also call on the Arab League to launch a quick and serious initiative to save the people of Iraq as well as its civilization and humanitarian role and preserve its ethnic and religious diversity," he added.
In the past two weeks, sectarian violence has driven more than 15,000 Iraqi Christians out of the city of Mosul and killed 13 people, including a father and son and a disabled man in his twenties. The refugees now face a bleak winter without any food or shelter in what aid workers are calling a "desperate" situation.
Addressing Iraq”s Christians, Berri said: "Your cause is our concern and you will remain deep-seated in the conscience of all Muslims and Arabs."
He also urged international institutions and world organizations to do their best to assist the needy and bring Iraqi Christians back to their homeland.
"I also appeal to Christian leaders around the world to work for world peace and deploy efforts to implement the rules of humanitarian justice and eliminate injustice and all that may pave the way for terrorist acts," Berri added.