Kurdistan is a place of coexistence: Franklin Graham
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Samaritan's Purse President and US evangelical pastor Franklin Graham told reporters on Thursday that Kurdistan is an exemplary haven for coexistence, and one of the few places in the Middle East where people of different religious backgrounds can peacefully live together.
“I wish Kurdistan, through the government of Kurdistan, could affect the hearts of all the neighboring nations because this is a very unique place, and people from other parts of the Middle East can live in peace and security, here in Kurdistan,” he said.
“I'm very grateful to the government of Kurdistan for opening this region for people of all faiths. We are so grateful, thank God.”
On Thursday, he laid the foundation stone of the Evangelical Christian Union Church in Erbil’s Ainkawa district.
Read More: Franklin Graham praises PM Barzani’s decision to make Ankawa a district
Last year, Pastor Graham praised Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani for elevating the town of Ainkawa—a Christian-majority suburb of Erbil—to a district.
Also last year, the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) inaugurated a new church for the Christian community in Erbil's Ankawa district.
Read More: KRG inaugurates new church in Erbil's Ankawa
Franklin Graham is one of the most prominent evangelists in the United States and the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and the Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization.
Samaritan’s Purse runs several relief activities and charitable projects in the Kurdistan Region, particularly in the disputed territories outside of Mosul, where a large number of religious and ethnically diverse communities reside.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians, fleeing from ISIS’s occupation of Mosul in June 2014, resettled in areas within the autonomous Kurdistan Region.