More on the plight of Iraq’s Christians. “Iraq Becoming Islamic State Hostile to Non-Muslims,” by John Newton for AINA, December 12:
UP TO 90 people packed into a House of Lords’ committee room to attend a hearing about the crisis currently facing minorities in Iraq.
At the meeting on Tuesday (9th December), called by Lord David Alton to address the problems, speakers described how various minority groups have suffered murder, rape, kidnapping, forced conversion, and extortion.
Although the room could only accommodate 50 people up to 90 turned up to express their concern about the problems facing minorities in Iraq.
Speaking after the meeting Lord Alton, said: “The Christian minorities in Iraq — along with other vulnerable minorities — have suffered appallingly.
“Since 2003 more than 700 Iraqi Christians have been murdered and at least a further 15 have died in Mosul, as thousands of Christian families fled to safety.”
Stressing the need for an extensive enquiry he went on to say: “The Iraqi Government needs to conduct a full and transparent investigation into who was responsible for the events in Mosul.”
Lord Alton also called for the government in the north of Iraq to return land that had been seized from minority groups.
He said: “The Kurdish Regional Government needs to ensure a swift and complete return of Christian homes, land and property that has been misappropriated — which includes 58 Christian villages taken by Kurds.
“How The Kurdish and Iraqi authorities treat their minorities — including Christians, Yezidis, and Mandaeans — will be a test of their determination to create a tolerant society respectful of difference.”[…]
A statement from the Syriac and Chaldean Churches read out at the meeting similarly sounded a note of caution about the direction the country was taking: “It seems that Iraq is one step closer to becoming an Islamic state intolerant to non-Muslims”…