Letter to Secretary of State Powell on Church Bombings in Iraq, August 6, 2013
August 6, 2004
The Honorable Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Mr. Secretary:
Sadly, the violence in Iraq has reached a new level of depravity with the bombing of religious facilities at the moment the devout were at worship. In this case, these were Christian houses of worship, but our condemnation would be equally severe whatever the victimized denomination.
This latest outrage against Christian churches in Baghdad and Mosul is clearly intended to destroy the usual tolerance that has traditionally prevailed in Iraq among Muslims and Christians. This effort must not be allowed to succeed. We urge that the United States and its military and diplomatic representatives in Iraq make every effort to preserve religious peace and to oppose vigorously those who would pursue their evil political objectives through religious terrorism.
The Catholic Church in the United States stands in solidarity with her Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq and with the overwhelming majority of Iraqis who seek a peaceful Iraq characterized by political and religious harmony. As we have said before, "…full religious freedom for all people and all religious bodies in Iraq would contribute to stability and help avoid sectarian conflict."
With prayerful wishes, I am
Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Bishop of Belleville