While meeting in Amman, Jordan from 17-23 November, the World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee issued a statement on recent developments in Iraq affecting the prospects for sustaining religious and social diversity, and the future of the nation and its peoples.
While the recapture of the Nineveh plains, Mosul and other areas removed the extremist ‘Islamic State’ from the region, it has come at a great and tragic cost in lives, destruction of property and infrastructure, and brings new challenges for restoration of the affected communities and for promoting social and religious cohesion in Iraq, the executive committee stated.
The WCC executive committee “calls on the political leadership of the federal government of Iraq and of the Kurdistan regional government to engage in dialogue and negotiations to resolve the current crisis, and to avoid any further conflict in a region that has known far too much violence and suffering.”
The committee also “urges the Iraqi authorities to ensure that the homes and businesses of those displaced are restored to them, appeals to the international community to support urgently and generously the reconstruction of infrastructure and of communities.”
The WCC body appeals “ to the international community – particularly those countries involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq – to support urgently and generously the reconstruction of infrastructure and of communities (including through psycho-social trauma healing programmes) and initiatives to promote social and religious cohesion in Iraq, including addressing the particular vulnerabilities of religious minority communities.”