Kurdish umbrella group extends Christmas greetings to region’s Christians
Iraqi Christians, including many that escaped from Mosul after it was attacked by ISIL, take part in a Mass at a Chaldean church in Kirkuk in this file photo. AFP photoThe Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a supra organization of Kurdish groups that includes the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has passed along greetings to the region’s Christians on the occasion of Christmas.
“We are celebrating Christmas, which [signifies] the unity of the oppressed against the tyranny of the oppressor, as well as rebirth,” the KCK’s Faiths and Peoples Committee said in a statement released Dec. 24.
“We wish a Merry Christmas to Christians of all colors and cultures living in different areas around the world,” it said, while especially sending a message of goodwill to Syriac, Chaldean and Armenian communities resident in Kurdistan.
In its message, the KCK called for the free practice of religion in the region.
“The brutality that has been occurring in Sinjar, Kobane and Bethlehem, together with attempts to silence religions that fight against tyranny as well as true believers, is equivalent to eliminating these religions and believers,” it said.
“Today’s powers that be are exerting pressure to eliminate religions by confining them within the boundaries of the church, mosque, synagogue and cemevi. Today, however, is the day that religious officials and believers will cause a revolt within the conscience of humanity against this tyranny and brutality; it is the day to provide a shield of protection to the powerless, to provide aid to the injured and to provide sanctuary to the refugee," the committee said.
The KCK also reiterated its commitment to protecting the believers of all religions in the area.
Non-Muslims such as Christians and Yazidis have been singled out for particularly harsh treatment by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the region, especially in Sinjar, which has a high Yazidi population.