ASIA/IRAQ - The Chaldean Patriarch: Christians are encouraged to participate in the next election, but politics is the responsibility of the laity

Baghdad - An encouragement to participate in the upcoming provincial election, and to make serious and positive proposals to contribute to the common good has been addressed to all the Christians of Iraq by the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans, whose leadership took office on March 6 by the new Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako.In a statement, signed by Father Albert Husham Zarazeer and sent to Fides Agency, the communications manager of the Chaldean Patriarchate expresses the conviction that "Iraqi Christians, who have deep roots in Iraq and have played an important role in its construction, will participate in the local elections in many of the provincial councils." According to the text released by the Chaldean Patriarchate, the participation in the elections is "an essential national task." Christians are encouraged "to fulfill it with consciousness," according to their own convictions and without hesitation, knowing that the participation in the political life of the current historical moment "helps to promote peace" and to make Iraq the "Homeland of all " Iraqis. At the same time – stresses father Husham in a "clarification" sent to Fides Agency - "the Patriarchate distinguishes political work from the work of the Church. A reality and an extended institution like the Chaldean Church cannot directly get involved in political work and the divisions that it entails, because this would be done at the expense of its evangelical mission. Political work is the responsibility of the laity."The provincial elections are scheduled for April 20. With the upcoming election - the first since the departure of U.S. troops, which ended in December 2011 - the Country has been hit from north to south by a new wave of terrorist attacks that only on Monday, April 15 caused at least fifty victims and hundreds of injuries.Last month the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako met all those involved in the national political scene and to all he renewed the call to work for peace and social harmony, referred to as priority goods to be protected. . .