The Iraqi parliament has stated a new law that will allow children to convert to Islam if either of their parents is Muslim.
This law by other religious leaders in Iraq is totally unacceptable, especially for Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako who led a protest meeting in Baghdad against the new law; the meeting was attened by Christians and representatives of other religions in Iraq.
“Leaving aside the fact that a parent betrays his bond with his children, it is unacceptable that this implies the second party is deprived of the opportunity to fulfill the promise made and keep their religious faith,” Patriarch Louis Said.
The new law is a threat to national unity and peace of Iraqi, as it demonstrates a “total disregard for the values of the civilization of Iraq” and is an affront to some of the nation’s oldest communities, the Patriarch said again.
The Patriarch met with the Iraqi president, President Fuad Masum last week and requested the new law be vetoed; this is according to the Assyrian International News Agency. The Patriarch also told the Iraqi President that allowing such law to run is violence on the Iraqi law that assures freedom of religion and conscience.
The Patriarch as well issued a statement denouncing the charter as “contrary to human rights standards and international treaties” and threatened to appeal to international authorities if the new law be enshrined into law.
A report by the Assyrian International News Agency said President Masum acknowledged that the law included constitutional violations and said he would seek a solution that was acceptable to all parties.
After the meeting with President Masum, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako sent statements to Asianews, a Vatican news agaency saying:
“This norm is one of the most discriminatory, because it shows a total disregard for the values of the civilisation of Iraq and against those who are considered to be among the first citizens of this country,”
“All this is a threat to the unity of the nation, as well as social balance, religious pluralism and the principle of acceptance of the other in their diversity, with their unique situation and common life goals,”
“We want to assert the principle that the child should keep their religious affiliation, so that he or she can freely decide their faith, according to belief, when they come of age. After all, religion is a matter which concerns only the relationship between God and man, and should not be bound by any obligations.”
He added that, “in case of application of this law, we will make our voice heard at the international level and we will ensure that the Assembly of Deputies must respond about this before the international tribunal.”