KRG inaugurates new church in Erbil's Ankawa
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) inaugurated a new church for the Christian community in Erbil's Ankawa district on Sunday.
An inaugural ceremony for the new church was attended by Cardinal Luis Sako, the Patriarch of the Chaldean Churches in the world, Patriarch Bashar Matti Warda, senior Christian religious leaders, and local residents from Ankawa, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs told Kurdistan 24.
On behalf of Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, the Minister of Endowment and Religious Affairs Pishtwan Sadiq congratulated the Christians on the opening of their new church and reaffirmed the KRG's support for the Christians of the Kurdistan Region.
Sadiq stated that the KRG pays special attention to the displaced Christian families who fled from other parts of Iraq and resettled in the Kurdistan Region. He listed the multiple projects the KRG has been providing this vulnerable group.
Cardinal Luis Sako also congratulated the Christian community in the Ankawa district and thanked the Kurdistan Region's prime minister and president for supporting peaceful coexistence among the region's ethnic and religious minorities.
"The Christians feel safe here in the Kurdistan Region, and we appreciate that," Cardinal Sako said.
With the addition of this new church, the total number of churches in the Kurdistan Region now numbers 146.
The sectarian violence that plagued Iraq in 2006, and later the ISIS invasion of a third of the country in 2014, displaced most of Iraq's Christian minority, which exceeded over a million people before 2003. Thousands of these Christians resettled in the Kurdistan Region.
The KRG and the people of the Kurdistan Region warmly welcomed these Christians and other minorities who sought sanctuary in the region, earning it a positive reputation for religious coexistence in the Middle East.