BAGHDAD: More than 200 people many of them Muslims gathered in front of a Church expressing solidarity with the Christians of Mosul.
According to details, an assembly of more of than 200 people including Muslims gathered in front of a Church in Baghdad carrying placards with slogans “I am Iraqi, I am Christian” – to show solidarity after a radical Islamist group ISIS exiled Christians from their homes in the northern city of Mosul.
According to the Al Arabia News, Father Maysar Bahnam of Mar Korkis Catholic Church said, “What gives us hope is a group of citizens – I do not want to say Muslims but they were Muslims – from Baghdad carrying slogans saying “I am Iraqi, I am Christian. They prayed in solidarity with us, saying that we are people from this land, is a hope for us as Iraqis and Christians, that there are good Iraqis. In fact, Iraqis are good people but sectarian issues which could have come from abroad affected us.”
Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako- head of the Chaldean Catholic Church while addressing both the Muslim congregates and about 150 Christian worshipers said, “I am Christian, Sunni, Shiite, Kurd, Mandean, Yazidi and I am Iraqi.” “His words were very influential and had a big echo among the attendees,” Father Bahnam said.
This event was organised late Saturday by a civil rights activist and journalist Yousif al-Tamimi, after calls to show solidarity begun flooding social media and as a deadline expired on a decree imposed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group ordering Christians in Mosul to convert to Islam or leave. He told Al Arabiya News that “Late Saturday, calls started on Facebook and social media to organize the event and to make use of the timing that the day after was Sunday, mass prayer of our Christian brothers. Tamimi said,” the Christian worshipers initially seemed disheartened over what had happened in the militant-held Mosul, but with the campaign’s participants showing solidarity with them, it raised their confidence, especially with their surrounding people.” Iraqis from the southern and central parts of the country wanted to come but couldn’t reach Baghdad due to the security complication in the country, Tamimi said, adding “even Iraqis abroad, took pictures and posted it on our Facebook page, saying “I am Iraqi, I am Christian” to show solidarity.”