Christians and Muslims in Iraq are called by the same God to rebuild a nation where peace, harmony and justice reign, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, during a Christmas visit to Baghdad.
Cardinal Parolin was scheduled to be in Iraq from 24th to 28th December; he celebrated Christmas liturgies in the Chaldean, Syriac Catholic and Latin-rite cathedrals in Baghdad and brought Christmas greetings from Pope Francis to all the people of Iraq.
Recognising that Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus and acknowledge him as a prophet, the cardinal’s message to the nation said, “Christmas is a celebration for all and its message is addressed to every person of good will.
“As individuals and communities, Christians and Muslims are called to enlighten the darkness of fear and nonsense, irresponsibility and hatred with words and acts of light, sowing with full hands seeds of peace, truth, justice, freedom and love,” said the cardinal’s message, which was released by the Vatican.
He urged the people of Iraq to recognise how much they have in common and to work together for a better future.
Picture: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, greets an Iraqi religious man during a Christmas visit to Baghdad. (CNS photo/courtesy Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate).