In CS Releases & Articles

By Coptic Solidarity

Coptic Solidarity led an initiative to gather signatures for the statement below, signed by 87 non-profit organizations, parliamentarians and former legislators, and a wide variety of individual experts, urging the immediate reinstatement of Patriarch Sako to his position as head of the Chaldean Church.

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, are writing to express our shock and condemnation of decree No. 31 of 2023, issued by Iraqi president, Abdul Latif Rashid. Without any justification, it revokes Republican Decree No.147 of 2013, which had recognized Iraqi Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako as Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq and worldwide.

We also condemn the relentless smear campaign and character assassination strategies, implemented by State-controlled media in Iraq, against the Patriarch. We denounce the collusion between the State and a known militia leader—one internationally accused of committing crimes against humanity—specifically against Patriarch Sako.

The undersigned further believe that the Presidential decree and concomitant campaign are ultimately intimidation tactics employed against Iraqi Christians—designed to drive them into forced migration in order to seize their properties. It is also reflective of an attack on religious freedom, which is protected by Iraq’s constitution, per Articles 42 and 43.

We, the undersigned, would also like to express our wholehearted support for Patriarch Sako—for speaking truth to power, defending his persecuted community, and safeguarding the properties of Iraqi Christians, and those of the Chaldean Church. Patriarch Sako is also known to have always promoted freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief for all.

In sum, we believe that what Patriarch Sako and Christians have experienced in Iraq is an extension of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (“ISIS”) coercive strategies initiated in 2014, which were designed to drive Christians into forced migration and seize their properties. The State, it would seem, has co-opted and is employing these very same tactics.

Based on all the above, the undersigned ask the Iraqi government:

  1. To revoke Republican Decree No. 31 issued on July 3, 2023.
  2. To ensure the safe return of the Patriarch to his seat in Baghdad and provide him with due protection so that he can fulfill his religious and spiritual role, as well as his administrative duties in overseeing the properties of the Chaldean Church.
  3. To remember its sworn duty to protect the lives and properties of religious minorities, including the Christian community; and to return the properties that have been seized since 2014, so that forcibly displaced individuals can return to their homes and businesses.

The action taken by the Iraqi president is unprecedented in Iraqi history. We stand in solidarity with Patriarch Sako and the Christians of Iraq, to ensure that they obtain full religious freedom and citizenship rights, including the ability to worship in their historical land.



  1. Coptic Solidarity – Statement Sponsor
  2. Chaldean League
    Name of Authorized person: George Mansor
  3. Christian Freedom International
  4. Conference of Arab Christians
  5. International Christian Concern
  6. Knights of Columbus
  7. Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
  8. Middle East Freedom Forum
  9. Al Kalma Center For Human rights
  10. Freedom Seekers International
    Name of Authorized person: Deana Brown, CEO


  1. Abdel-Wali Abdo Hassan Al-Jabri – Member of Parliament Yemen
  2. Lord David Alton – House of Lords, UK
  3. Ahmed Fatfat – former Member of Parliament and former Minister of Interior, Lebanon
  4. Frank Christian Hansel – Member of Parliament, Berlin-Germany


  1. Saint Maratken Community Society Inc. Melbourn
  2. St. Virgin Mary Chaldean Organization


  1. Ahwazian Arab Red Crescent
  2. Canadian Iraqi Human rights Center
  3. Chaldean Association of Windsor
    Name of Authorized Person: George Mansor
  4. Chaldean Society of Mar Oraha
    Name of Authorized person: Imad Oraha
  5. Dearborn Society Of Canada
  6. Iraqi Components Charity
  7. Ladies of Hope
    Name of Authorized person: Bushra Hanna
  8. Radhi D. Mohammed
  9. The Arabic Cultural Council
    Name of Authorized person: Alaa Ahmed


  1. Association D’entraide Aux Minorites D’orient
  2. Association of Assyrian-Chaldeans in France
  3. Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience
  4. Coordination Chrétiens d’Orient en danger
  5. Middle East Transparent, Paris
  6. Organisation Franco-Egyptienne pour les droit de l’homme


  1. Assyrian Democratic Movement
  2. Iraqi Christians in Need ICIN
  3. Revival Oriental Heritage Foundation
    Name of Authorized person: Sohaib Jajju
  4. Soraya Foundation For Culture and Media Erbil-Iraq


  1. Set My People Free


  1. Aid to the Church in Need, London
  2. Christians Without Home
  3. Mesopotamia Association


  1. Advocates for Faith & Justice
  2. Arab Social Association
  3. Asian Children’s Education Fellowship
    Name of Authorized person: Bryan Nerren, President
  4. Chaldean American Association
  5. Chaldean League of California
  6. Chaldean Radio and Television Association
  7. Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
  8. Culture and Arts Association
  9. In Defense of Christians
  10. Iraqi American Friendship Association
  11. Jubilee Campaign USA
  12. Law and Liberty Trust
    Name of Authorized person: Lauren B. Homer, President
  13. Mar Oraha Chaldean Organization
  14. Mosques Gathering in San Diego
  15. Organization of Christian and Islamic congregations in San Diego
  16. Saint Adda Community Center
  17. Saint Peter Chaldean Cathedral Diocese
  18. Save the Persecuted Christians
    Name of Authorized person: Dede Laugesen, Executive Director
  19. St. Micheal Organization
  20. Syrian Christians for Rights and Dialogue
  21. Telliskuf Chaldean Organization


  1. Minh Lê, Advocates for Faith and Justice in Vietnam

Individual Experts in Academia, Policy, Journalism, and Activism

  1. Hassan Abboud – University professor
  2. Jackie Abramian – Founder, Global Cadence
  3. Pierre Akl – editor-in-chief of Middle East Transparent
  4. Elie Al-Hajj – Lebanese journalist
  5. Bassam Al-Khoury – Lebanese businessman
  6. Shaheen Al-Khoury – Lebanese intellectual
  7. Lina Al-Tanir – Professor at the American University
  8. Tobia Atallah – Lebanese businessman
  9. Ann Mahjar Barducci – Italian Journalist and Author
  10. Zuhair Basbous – Journalist, Paris
  11. Robert A. Destro – Professor of Law, The Catholic University of America
  12. Mona Fayyad – Lebanese political activist and professor
  13. Ralph Germanus – former military prosecutor
  14. Tony Habib – Lebanese politician
  15. Mayad Haidar – Lebanese author
  16. Fayrouz Joudieh – Lebanese businessman
  17. Ruba Kabbara – University professor
  18. Khairallah Khairallah – Lebanese writer and journalist
  19. Elie Kyrillos – Lebanese lawyer
  20. Nadine Maenza – President, Internacional Religious Freedom Secretariat
  21. Scott Morgan – Co-chair Africa Working Group, International Religious Freedom Roundtable
  22. Loan Nguyen, Boat People SOS
  23. Rodrigue Novel – Lebanese politician
  24. Norma Rizk – University professor
  25. Fares Saeed – Former Vice President of the National Council to End the Iranian Occupation
  26. Bahjat Salama – University professor

Photo Credit: Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Recommended Posts
pingbacks / trackbacks

Leave a Comment