Sunni Victory Brings Hope to Christians in Iraqi Province
The Sunni party that won the election in Nineveh province has promised to respect freedom of religion for Christian minorities.
By Ethan Cole
02/16/2009 Iraq (The Christian Post)-The Assyrian Christian population in a northern Iraqi province expressed hope for a better future under the province’s newly elected Sunni government, which has pledged to respect the rights of minorities and allow them to have a voice in the political process.
In Nineveh province, a region heavily populated by Christians and other minority communities, the Sunni-Arab Al-Hadba party wrested control of the province from the Kurdish party by an impressive 48.5 percent of votes.
“The minorities are an important part of the Nineveh province and they should enjoy all the rights they are entitled to,” Osama Al-Nujeifi said, according to Assyrian International News Agency. “We believe the minorities have to participate in the political sphere, in the provincial council and all the local institutions. This is important for us and we believe we will be able to accomplish it.”
Last October, at least 14 Assyrian Christians were murdered which led to a fearful exodus of more than 15,000 Iraqi Christians out of the city of Mosul . Although initial reports speculated militants of Al-Qaeda affiliated were behind the anti-Christian campaign, suspicion later largely pointed to Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
For years, Assyrian Christians and other minority groups have asked for an autonomous state under the federal central government where minorities could govern themselves and work without