Iraq: Government to collect data of persecution of Christians

563

Christians in Iraq and Syria

The Iraqi government has officially begun accumulating and documenting statistics on Christian persecution in the country.

According to the stats drawn together by the Iraqi government, there were about 7,000 known violations against property belonging to Christians since 2003. The stats also revealed that there has been a continuous decrease in the Christian population of Iraq.

About one million Christians left Iraq since 2003. Moreover, stats depict that in June Islamists seized 70% of Christians’ homes illegally in Baghdad. Seeing these stats, Government officials and church leaders have expressed their concerns that the country has not done enough to protect Christians.

Also read: Christians arrested for distributing copies of Bible in Egypt

The Iraqi PM Haydar al-Abadi, directed a committee to gather information about kidnappings and unlawful expropriation of homes and land which in recent months Iraqi Christians have suffered. The committee would also be planning hoe to counter this increasing phenomenon.

The leading members of this committee visited the headquarters of the Chaldean Patriarchate in Baghdad so as to start collecting data and information about the abuses suffered by Iraqi Christians.

The initial aim is to perform a census of the real estate expropriation from Christian families. Moreover, the parishes and Christian communities will be also be assisting the committee in gathering information regarding kidnappings of Christians.

Seeing the worsening situation, a Christian member of Iraq’s parliament, Imad Youkhana, issued a statement earlier this year, and urged for better protections for the Iraq’s Christian population. He termed the kidnappings as episodes of a terrorization campaign intended to force Iraqi Christians flee from the country.