BAGHDAD, Iraq, SEPT. 21, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- The patriarch of Baghdad for the Chaldeans has told Iraqi officials about Catholic bishops’ fears that the draft constitution “opens the door widely” to discrimination against Christians and other Non-Muslims.
In his meeting the president and prime minister of Iraq, Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly urged a last-minute change to the constitution, which the bishops say contradicts itself on the key question of religious rights for minorities.
In the Sept. 18 meeting, the patriarch discussed a statement agreed by the country’s 12 bishops in which they stressed their fears for the future of the Christian community.
The prelates — from the Chaldean, Armenian, Latin and Assyrian Churches — praised Articles 2.1(b) and 2.2 which defend freedom and religious rights but attacked Article 2.1(a) which states: “No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.”
The bishops’ statement concluded: “The bishops’ conference expressed a grave concern and fear “¦ about Article 2.1(a). This opens the door widely to passing laws that are unjust towards non-Muslims. The conference insists that this clause be amended or deleted.”