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Talabani assures rights for Christians under Iraq charter in meeting with Pope

[JURIST] Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] met with Pope Benedict XVI [official website] in the Vatican on Thursday, assuring him that new Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive] will respect the rights of Christians. The Vatican was concerned that even though the constitution guaranteed religious freedom for all, it also named Islam as a "fundamental source" of legislation. According to Talabani, "the Iraqi constitution will consider all Iraqis, Christians included, equal, and will respect all religions." Talabani told the Pope that "All kinds of freedoms will be guaranteed for all." Approximately 800,000 Christians live in Iraq. The Vatican had no comment on the meeting. AP has more.

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