Iraq: Christians protest against the Islamization law relating to children

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Iraqi Christians

Hundreds of Christians in Iraq staged a protest against the controversial law which automatically converts a child’s religion to Islam in case anyone of his or her parents converts to Islam.

On Wednesday, November 4, Christians turned out in great numbers and collectively protested against the controversial law. This protest was staged in front of the United Nations representatives in Erbil, which is the capital of Kurdistan.

Under this law, any child will automatically be recognised as a Muslim by the state if either his or her mother or father converts to Islam from other religions. Moreover, this protest saw many protestors from various other faiths in the country.

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Christians were joined by Yazidi and Sabean Mandaeans along with political activists, various activists from the civil society, human rights advocacy organisations and groups. Ankawa.com reports that an assembly of protesters, who were protesting in front of UN representatives. The website reports that a memorandum had been handed over which contains the controversial and unconstitutional law put in question by them was documented. Moreover, the UN representatives assured the protestors that they will pressurise the parliament of Iraq to make a change on the contentious law.

Previously, on October 27, the Iraqi parliament had rejected a proposed amendment to this controversial law. The Christians members of the Iraqi parliament had moved this proposal for the amendment in the law which had been causing much nuisance to the Christians in the country.

The Iraqi parliament had declined this amendment proposal by a large majority. However, parliamentarians from various religions supported the Christian parliamentarians to move this proposal. This proposal requested the parliament to add a clause in the section of law relating to children, that in the event that a parent converts to Islam; the children will remain in the original religion. According to this, addition, until the children reach 18 years of age they will be recognised in their original religion. However, after 18 years they are free to choose any religion of their choice.