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Chaldean Bishop Says Education in Democracy Key to Enduring Peace in Iraq
By Rita Abro :: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 :: 38459 Views :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Washington DC, USA - While Iraq’s most dreadful year of 2006 is still comparably safer than some of America’s most popular cities the Democratic leaders in congress still wish to surrender the conflict.   Petraeus demonstrated a significant drop in violence since 2006 and still the Democratic leaders remained unconvinced of the need to stay in Iraq. 

Mgr Rabban al-Qas, Chaldean bishop of Ahmadiya, in Northern Iraq, speaking a day after the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, began presenting his report to the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees of the US Congress on the impact of the recent surge of US troops in Iraq says progress has been made, but “A concrete solution to the Iraqi crisis must come from the people themselves, not from the barrel of the gun.”

Iraqi Chaldean bishop acknowledges the dramatic drop in violence and adds it is time to educate the population to peace.  “An enduring solution though must come from Iraqis themselves, from educating the people to the values of peace and democracy learnt since 2003,” says Mgr Rabban al-Qas.

General Petraeus said that most objectives had been met by the troop reinforcement. Progress has been reported in the area of security, and sectarian violence has dropped.

The General made clear that the current situation remains unstable, preventing an immediate troop withdrawal.  The general did say though that around 30,000 troops could be drawn down from the current level of 168,000 by the middle of next year.  The General also added that the  request by Iraqi leaders to remain in order to assist the fledgling democracy. 

The Iraqi government welcomed General Petraeus’s report. Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie praised the “enormous sacrifice” made by the United States, predicting a reduced combat role for US troops, adding however that his government opposed any quick pullout.

In Baghdad many residents have noticed a drop in the level of violence, but “not enough to go out without fear.”  From talks with his contacts in the capital, Bishop al-Qas said that suicide attacks have declined in the last few months. In his view, the war has “entered a second phase.”

“Now that some results have been achieved against terrorism, albeit small ones, after Washington changed its attitude towards Iraq, it is also time for Iraqis to change attitudes. We must educated the young to peace and instil the democratic values that have started circulating in the country in the last four years,” he said.

“Now we must open the doors to reconciliation whilst ensuring security.”

General Petraeus and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are continuing today the presentation of their report to Congress.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.