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December 16, 2013 8:39 pm

Iraqi Catholic Leader Says ‘Extremist Political Islam’ is Growing in Middle East

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A burning church in Egypt. Photo: IPT News.

JNS.orgPatriarch Louis Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq, said “extremist political Islam is growing in the Middle East,” causing the death and destruction of the region’s Christian communities.

“We feel forgotten and isolated,” Sako said, the National Catholic Register reported.

“We sometimes wonder, if they kill us all, what would be the reaction of Christians in the West? Would they do something then?” he said.

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In a Dec. 14 speech at a conference in Rome on “Christianity and Freedom” sponsored by Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project, Sako called on moderate Muslims to take a stand and embrace “a new reading of their religion” and to challenge the “sectarian and provocative” stances in Islam.

Sako believes that without Christians, the Middle East would become an intolerant place.

“The loss of Christianity would fundamentally alter the contours of culture and society in nations such as Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. It would deal a severe blow to any hope of pluralism and democracy,” he said.

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