Sydney’s Iraqi Council Mr. Mohsen Al-Samarrai has highlighted plans to reduce violence against Christians in Iraq, during a visit to His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia, Metropolitan of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon.
Visiting His Beatitude to pay his respects during the occasion of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Mr. Al-Samarrai said he hoped that the cloud passes by the Christians in Iraq and that the circumstances may settle and peace be restored in the homeland, especially in this time of feasting.
The Council noted that further action to reduce hatred between Christian and Muslim groups in Iraq are well ahead in planning, returning brotherhood and restoring peace.
In turn, His Beatitude thanked Mr. Al-Samarri and acknowledged the hard work and effort put in by the Iraqi Embassy in Sydney, which is applying its maximum ability to ensure the safety and well being of Christians in Iraq.
The discussion also focused on new precautions being taken following threats by terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda to launch war against any Christian groups celebrating Christmas in the Middle East.
These precautions include constant monitoring of border violaters, who are further targeting unity in Iraqi social groups.
History was also touched on during the meeting, with a discussion on recent discoveries of early Christianity in the Arabian Peninsula through to the west coast of the Gulf, showing the involvement and foundation of the Assyrian Church of the East in those regions.
Immigration issues were raised, in light of the recent boat crash tragedy near Christmas Island that resulted in the death of up to 50 Iranian and Iraqi Asylum seekers.
His Beatitude and Mr. Al-Samarri were both distressed to learn that immigrants continue to be placed in old boats and shipped like objects with no human rights.
Raising awareness of the plight of Middle Eastern refugees was the key to improving the immigration process, said Mr. Al-Samarri. His Beatitude also saw the importance in pleading with the Australian Government to sympathise with these immigrants by giving support and aid through their circumstances.
These immigration issues were also stressed by His Beatitude during a similar meeting with the Australian Immigration Minister which took place recently regarding the issue of Iraqi immigrants in detention centres.
The Minister said he had visited the Assyrian members of the Assyrian Church of the East in Villawood centre offering gifts to enlighten their hope.
Mr. Al-Samarri expressed his happiness and thanks for the enlightening and informative meeting, including the history of early Christian denominations in the Middle East with His Beatitude Mar Meelis.
Upon conclusion, wishes of progress, prosperity and success were offered to His Beatitude for all the years to come[nggallery id=132]