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27.03.2017 - 19: 16

Middle Eastern bishops are concerned about the actions of Christian militias

"Self-proclaimed partisans" complicate the political process in the long term.

Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Monsignor Bashar Warda in an interview with US Catholic portal National Catholic Register again expressed concern about the actions of militias with arms fighting in Iraq militants LIH (organization, whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation). "I was against, I am now against the militia - said Ward. - They could possibly solve the problem in the short term, but they complicate the political process in the long term. They are used to carry a gun and use it to solve their problems. What we need today is a single army - the army or the Iraqi forces Peshmerga (Kurdish militia) are recognized and institutional elements of the Iraqi defense. But what we feared actually happened. If you currently find yourself in Nineveh province, you will see six or seven flags representing the various militias. "

Most of the Patriarchs and Bishops of the Churches in Iraq bother Christian militia. When only jihadists "Islamic State" (an organization whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation) stormed the summer 2014, the city of Mosul, the patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church Louis Raphael Sako in August of the same year, recognizing a right of Iraqi Christians to self-defense, insisted that their protection should come from the state. He said that the establishment of disparate militia forces on the basis of ethnic and religious identity can only divide Iraq. Patriarch's words were a reaction to the statement by the President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani, who expressed willingness to provide weapons to Christians volunteers, so that they formed a militia to protect their settlements from the jihadists. Subsequent events have shown the correctness of the Chaldean Bishop. While the Obama administration talked about the need to combat LIH (organization, whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation), led leisurely negotiations on the establishment of an international coalition, imitated military action against militants on the ground, the question of the creation of the Christian militia grew in the course of developing the conflict factor that split the leaders Churches and Ecclesial communities.

The first could not stand the Assyrians. In April 2015, the French Catholic newspaper La Croix described the confrontations with LIH (organization, whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation). The representative of the Assyrian Christian militia claimed that their physical survival guarantees only "the protection of our lands", and "for us to Kurdish rebels are no better than the" Islamic State "(an organization whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation). Detachments of the Assyrians were to become part of a wider political project to transform the body into a regular army on the model of the Peshmerga, and there the matter could come before the establishment of autonomy for Iraq's minorities, with the support of multinational military forces. At the same time, the edition notes, in addition to leaving the religious volunteers seem to have been often motivated by a thirst for adrenaline, looking for new adventures. And in May, the Assyrian 2016 Confederation of Europe (ACE), registered in the European Parliament as the representative body of the Assyrian, Chaldean and Syrian diaspora, criticized the Patriarch Sako, condemned the activities of "self-styled Christian militia." Leaders ACE officially warned the patriarch, that fact should not "interfere in the political affairs of his people" and called him "not to be confused with the role of the religious leader of the notion of a political leader."

Oil poured into the fire, and on the other continent of Europe. In June, 2016 years on Capitol Hill held a hearing on the subject of the Middle East settlement after the victory over the LIH (organization, whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation). "We must now prepare for the consequences of the release of controlled zones jihadists, including - Mosul and Nineveh province, as well as Syria," - said the head of the US Catholic organization "Knights of Columbus" Carl Anderson. The day before, 19 May US lawmakers approved the US defense budget project. It was introduced two amendments submitted by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. In particular, they suggested the possibility of an extension of ethnic and religious minority groups, including Christians and Yezidis, participate in the integrated military campaign against the jihadists. According to the human rights group "In Defense of the Christians," Steven Hollingshead, after militants LIH (organization, whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation) will be driven out of the province of Nineveh, there is a risk of annexation of this plain Kurdish Peshmerga troops. That is why Christians and Yezidis militia should take part in the armed struggle against the jihadists, otherwise they can not find a place at the negotiating table.

It created all the prerequisites for Christian militia forces drawn into the complex game of "all against all", engage in tactical situational coalition - but as a junior partner - with the majority centers in Baghdad and Erbil, as well as outside of Iraq. There is a danger that in the end the Christian troops will begin to fight each other. And it is a gun hanging on the wall, the same shot. In February this year, news agencies began reporting that members of militia groups began direct conflict with each other and during performances on national television threatening revenge Sunni Muslims. In the province of Nineveh are several armed Christian groups, according to the Middle East Portal Al-Arabiya, each of which offers its own agenda, rather than to unite and liberate their town from the militants LIH (organization, whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation). In an example of the struggle between the publication of results in "Babel Brigade" and the Syrian Democratic Union, as well as attempts at "protector parts Nineveh Plain", founded by the Assyrian Democratic Movement monopolize power in Christian areas. All this looks like a fight "dwarfs for leftovers."

We should also note the following caveat. A further increase in the degree of tension in the relations of the Christian militia units among themselves together with their audacity against bishops of the Church may force the latter to raise the question of whether these compounds are called Christian at all. Meanwhile, this path has already passed LIH (organization, whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation). Although they are positioning themselves as "Islamic warriors", many Muslim scholars openly declare that jihadists pervert Islam. If, in turn, the patriarchs of the Middle Eastern Churches in the future openly raise the question, not whether distort Christianity militia, the answer to it can not be given in favor of the latter.

A source: A REGNUM

Author: Stanislav Stremidlovsky

Tags: Iraq War in the Middle East, IG, Religion, Christians, Kurds, the Middle East