This will be an uphill battle, because the Baghdad government has pro-Sharia constituencies that are far more numerous and powerful than the Iraqi Christians. “Iraqi Christian Leaders Call on Baghdad Government to Defend Minority Rights,” from Al-Bawaba via AINA, June 30:
On Saturday, the CSI co-sponsored 2nd All-Iraqi Christian Leadership Conference issued an eight-point appeal urging the Baghdad government to help Iraq’s dwindling minority community survive inside the country. Convening on Saturday, June 26 just outside Mosul in the town of Kara Kosh (Hamdaniya), 76 Iraqi Christian leaders from a variety of churches, political parties and civil society groups, together with representation from other minorities, called for:
1) Constitutional amendments to strengthen minority rights and legislation for the implementation of constitutional guarantees;
2) Adequately financed and rationally conceived programs designed to facilitate the voluntary return of the country’s refugees;
3) National Commission for Minority Affairs to promote peaceful dialogue between religious and ethnic groups;
4) A University in Nineveh Province;
5) Security for vulnerable minority communities;
6) Fulfillment of Iraq’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments;
7) Increased representation of Christians in the federal and state parliaments; and
8) Increased investment in the infrastructure of previously marginalized areas populated mainly by minorities.
Dr. John Eibner, CEO of CSI’s U.S. affiliate warned that the prospect of extinction still faces Iraq’s ancient Christian community, and would do so until violent persecution ceases and basic human rights are guaranteed in word and deed…
Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, nearly half of Iraq’s approximately one million Christians have been forced by violence to flee the country, while many other remain in Iraq as destitute Internally Displaced People….
William Warda, President of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization (HHRO) claimed that neither the Iraqi nor the American governments are acting with sufficient energy and foresight to end the violent persecution of Iraq’s Christians and to create conditions for the return of refugees….