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ICC Note:

The Iraqi Christian population, whose history is ancient and beautiful, has largely been decimated by the violence that continues to plague Iraq. Another blow has recently been dealt Iraqi Christian community.  In Alqosh, a primarily Christian village, the Christian mayor, Fayez Jawahreh was ousted and replaced by a Kurd. Jawahreh was accused of misusing his public office and of corruption but these accusations have not been proven. Alqosh’s mayor had been a symbol of the perseverance of Iraqi Christians but now the Christians of Alqosh will not be able to govern themselves.  

08/02/2017 Iraq (AINA) – Fayez Abed Jawahreh, mayor of the Chaldean Christian village of Alqosh has been recently ousted by members of the Kurdish Democratic Party, in a move that will further disadvantage Christians in the region

To understand the plight of Christians in Iraq requires one to separate their experience from their western counterparts. Christians in Iraq are a minority, and the aftermath of ISIS has made them all but extinct. To comprehend what is happening to Christians in the region one must delve into the many injustices they face.

Apart from the evident genocide of Christians in Iraq at the hands of ISIS, Christians are facing frequent acts of discrimination, exemplified by the recent ousting of Alqosh mayor Fayez Abed Jawahreh. Jawahreh is an ethnic Chaldean, an ancient group of people native to the region who extend their lineage back to biblical Babylon and were among the first to convert to Christianity. Chaldeans are by far the largest group of Christians in Iraq, making up approximately 80% of the 1.2% of Christians in the country.

Some Chaldeans choose to identify by other names such as Assyrian, adding confusion to the understanding of their history and identity. Indeed, many western sources designate the group as Assyrian, and one is easily confused by the interchangeable nature of the ethnic group’s name.