THE Prince of Wales met members of an Iraqi Chaldean Christian
community in London, on Tuesday. The event took place at the RC
Church of the Holy Family, in Acton, west London.
Prince Charles told the congregation that he had been "deeply
distressed by the horrific scenes of violence and persecution
coming out of your beloved Iraq. I know that many of those who have
been killed or forced to flee are members of your own
He was welcomed by the Chaldean parish priest at the church, Fr
Nadheer Dako, and spoke with members of his congregation before
listening to a performance by the choir. The Lord's Prayer was said
in Aramaic before the Prince made a short speech.
He described his presence at the event as "a way of trying to
show how much we feel for you". He referred to the Lord's Prayer,
describing the chance to hear it in Aramaic as "an enormously
special treat . . . because, somehow, it connects us even more
closely with our Lord more than 2000 years ago".
Drawing on the dedication of the church, Prince Charles compared
the Chaldean refugees to the Holy Family's fleeing from persecution
after the birth of Christ. The Prince said that "as Christmas
approaches, my heart goes out to all Christians who are being
persecuted on account of their faith."
He spoke about his commitment to interfaith understanding: "It
seems to me that all faiths to some extent shine a light on the
divine image in every human life. If that is so, then surely to
destroy another human being is to desecrate the image of the
Divine, and to do so in the name of faith is nothing less than a
The Prince also expressed sorrow at the situation facing
Christians in Iraq. "By being with you this Christmas time," he
said, "I wanted to assure you of my constant thoughts and sympathy,
and those of my family."