Musawi emphasized the positive development in relations between Muslims and the rest of the religious components after the Iraqi Delegation for Religions Dialogue, which he heads, visited Pope Francis in Rome. Musawi added that he thanked the pope for hosting the meeting with the high-level Iraqi delegation, and he addressed the pope, saying, “We are entrusted with the message of God, and such obligation necessitates that we preserve and protect this entrustment.”
Meanwhile, the supreme Shiite cleric in Najaf, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a statement calling for respecting the sanctity of Iraqi blood as well as the cessation of mutual violence in all its forms. He emphasized that Christian or Mandaean citizens should not be harmed, stressing his past stands, which go in line with the traditional Shiite clergy in Najaf.
Furthermore, Joseph Sliwa, a Christian member of parliament with the Warka Democratic bloc, told Al-Monitor that Christians appreciate the stand of Sistani, who always wishes Christians well on the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, Sliwa said Sistani also shoulders the most responsibility of prohibiting religious hate speech.