8. Iraq is in the process of forming a new government. How crucial is the success of this venture?
Forming a new government is not enough, Father Mallon says; Iraq has to form a new type of government—a government free of corruption and cronyism, and free of denominational scores to settle, "a government of, by and for all Iraqis. Without such a new type of government, I do not believe Iraq is viable as a unified country."
9. What role can the Churches play?
Father Mallon: "On the one hand, the Christian Churches in the Middle East are in a very weak state—perhaps the worst in centuries, if not ever. Nonetheless, the Churches can provide both material and spiritual assistance to those who are suffering. The Churches can be a powerful witness to the need for justice. The Churches have the ability to disseminate non-partisan information across the entire planet. The Churches could possibly even play a role as reconcilers. Arab Christians are often highly educated. They could provide the theoretical framework for the emergence of civil society and democratic structures in the region and function as agents of reconciliation. Whether such possibilities can be actualized is an open question and seems something far in the future. But the future is where hope lives."
10. Other resources that may be helpful in understanding the current crisis include:
John Burger is news editor of Aleteia’s English edition.