Iraq: Around 20 Christian families leave the country every month

November 26, 2022

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Iraq, click here.

“Around 20 families a month: Patriarch Sako laments the emigration of Iraqi Christians,” Agenzia Fides, November 25, 2022:

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) – Iraqi Christians, living mainly in the cities of the Nineveh Plains and other areas of northern Iraq, continue to leave the country. This is happening “at a rate of around 20 families a month,” said Iraqi Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Church, in a reflection on the situation of Christians in Iraq. In a statement released by the Chaldean Patriarchate, the cardinal recalled that that more than half of Iraqi Christians have emigrated in the last five years and many others are “on the waiting list”.

In this context, the Chaldean Patriarch points to the many sociological, political and environmental factors that favor the slow and silent exodus of native Christians from their homelands, recalling political and social instability, insecurity, lack of equal opportunities, discrimination and penalizing measures suffered in the workplace, lack of legal provisions to protect the full equality of citizens – including Christians – before the law. The Primate of the Chaldean Church calls into question the lack of a law on the civil status of Christians, which he believes paves the way for sectarian discrimination and, last but not least, forces Christians to consider civil status issues (such as marriage law, inheritance rights, or the custody of minors) according to laws based on the Islamic legal tradition and which refer directly or indirectly to the Sharia….