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Rome Reports

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Pope tells Iraqi ambassador Christian rights must be upheld in reconstruction

The pope pointed to democratic elections in March as a sign that Iraqis want to “see an end to violence” and to “live in harmony with one another.”

Benedict XVI said that Iraqi Christians would help in the country?s reconstruction, but that they need to know “it is safe for them to remain in or return to their homes, and they need assurances that their properties will be restored to them and their rights upheld.”

The pope concluded his address by referencing the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East in October. He added that he hopes Iraq will “emerge from the difficult experiences of the past decade as a model of tolerance and co-operation among Muslims, Christians and others in the service of those most in need.”