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Condemnation of attack on church in Baghdad

Joint statement issued by the participants of the consultation "Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future" condemning the criminal attack on the Church of Our Lady of Najat (Sayidat al-Nejat) in Baghdad.

03 November 2010

A Statement of Condemnation
of the Criminal Attack
on The Church of Our Lady of Najat in Baghdad

Muslims and Christians meeting at the headquarters of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1 to 4 November, 2010, in the framework of an International Consultation on “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future”, express their condemnation of all acts of violence that target places of worship and other sacred places, defile them, or threaten the safety and security of worshippers. With that guiding spirit, the consultation’s participants were shocked by the terrorist attack carried out by unidentified armed bandits on the church of Our Lady of Najat located in al-Karadah neighborhood in Baghdad on Sunday, 31 October, 2010. This criminal act led to the fall of a large number of worshippers and injured, among whom there were three priests. The participants condemn this inhumane act that contradicts all religious teachings, and Middle Eastern culture that enabled people to coexist peacefully for many centuries. The participants further condemn any criminal act that goes against the right to live in dignity and freedom of worship and of religion.

Christian and Muslim leaders and scholars meeting at the International Consultation, implore the United Nations and its Security Council and all groups that call for just peace, and especially Iraqi officials, to intervene to put an end to all terrorist attacks aimed at degrading Iraqi people, irrespective of their religious affiliation, and defiling Christian and Islamic sacred places. They further extend their heart-felt condolences to the families of the victims in Iraq assuring them that we hold them in our prayers.

We pray that the All-Mighty God assist the Iraqi Authorities and United Nations to seriously work to implement security, justice and peace to Iraq whose people deserve to enjoy living with religious and ethnic diversity.

Geneva, 3 November 2010