A senior delegation of Muslim and Christian religious leaders last month visited Chaldean Arch Bishop Gabriel Kassab to express their compassion for the Christians and other indigenous communities being persecuted in Iraq.

The group has issued the following statement:

  • We condemn the oppression and forced expulsion of the Christian, Yazidi and other minority communities from their homes and homelands.
  • We denounce all forms of violence, sectarian discrimination and terrorism, especially in Iraq and the Middle East, as these acts undermine the peaceful co-existence of the diverse religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East.
  • We stand in solidarity with the displaced families in the region who have every right to live free from fear, and we pledge any support that eases their hardship.
  • We uphold the safety of our homeland Australia and Australian people, with our cultural and religious diversity, as this is an integral part of our divine teachings.
  • We affirm our commitment to continue this solidarity and maintain open lines of communication with each other and with the Australian government.

The signatories were:

  1. Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, Grand Mufti of Australia.
  2. Arch Bishop Gabriel Kassab, head of the Chaldean and Assyrian Catholic community in Australia and New Zealand.
  3. Bishop Robert Rabat, head of the Melkite Catholic Church in Australia and New Zealand.
  4. Bishop Antoine Cherbel-Tarbay, head of the Maronite Diocese in Australia.
  5. Sheikh Yusuf Nabha, Imam at Al Rahman mosque.
  6. Sheikh Malek Zeidan, Lebanon Fatwa Council.
  7. Sheikh Khaled Taleb Amin, NSW secretary to Australian National Imams Council and representative of the Lebanon Fatwa Council in Western Sydney.
  8. Father Paul Menika, Chaldean community.