03 October 2011

Persecution Watch: Iraq

From Catholic World News:

Two more Iraqi Christians have been murdered in the northern city of Kirkuk, as the campaign of intimidation against the nation’s religious minority continues.

Christians in Kirkuk expressed their bitterness to the AsiaNews service, noting that as the attacks continue, “the world remains totally silent” [more].
 Speak up!  Let your voice be heard in defence of our brothers and sisters suffering under persecution!


  1. This is very sad. Under the regime of Hussein, they had total religious freedom. We share a burden of responsibility as well, God help us.

  2. Religious freedom under Saddam? Perhaps, but that was among the only kinds of freedom, and even that was limited. He banned Shi'ite Ashura processions. Even now this isn't government suppression of religion, but rather lawlessness and insecurity, though I don't know the details of what's happening in Kirkuk.

  3. I've just done a bit of Kirkuk catch-up, and still feel like I know nothing. I used to say the city needed more attention, and the attention dearth has actually gotten worse, probably because media attention is shifting with the drawdown of U.S. troops and Arab Spring. That said, the big picture is still debate over whether the city (and its oilfields) will become part of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region, or stay part of miscellaneous Iraq. Before this happens, there's supposed to be a census to figure out each community's share of the population, which has something or other to do with how the vote will be conducted for the referendum deciding the final status.

    So the big sides and Kurds v. Arabs and Turkmen. The few Christians are pretty much screwed, since any side that thinks the Christians will vote against them will start trying to drive them out. Picking up Christian attitudes from the scattered media tidbits is almost impossible, but there's clear evidence that they are threatened by being swallowed up inside an overwhelmingly Kurdish KAR, and would feel safer as one of the many small fish in miscellaneous Iraq.

    Anyway, the reporting generally focuses on miscellaneous "Islamic extremists," and militant salafis are also probably a factor. However, it wouldn't surprise me if they're getting hit from multiple sides. A lot of the day-to-day violence is from unknown masked men and gangs that disperse after doing their foul deeds.