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11/13/2018 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Following a heavily contested election this past spring, Iraq has at long last moved forward with the government formation process. While the parliament has formed, some key ministerial posts remain vacant. The parliament was supposed to vote on the eight vacant posts on November 6th, but failed to complete this process.

One of the vacant posts is the Ministry of Justice. Prior to the session on November 6th, rumors began to swirl that parliament was considering giving the position of Ministry of Justice to a Christian. If this were to occur, it would be a monumental step forward for Iraq. However, members of parliament instead affirmed that it is not possible for a Christian to hold this position.

The primary religion of Iraq is Islam and all of the laws are organized based on Islamic principles. Based on the current legal structure, for a Christian to officially participate in the Ministry of Justice would require an Islamic oath. Some Members of Parliament were quick to point this out as the reason why a Christian would not be confirmed to the Ministry of Justice. Instead, new rumors began to swirl that a Christian could be named as the Minister of Emigration.

Iraq’s Christians have heavily emigrated from Iraq following three massive waves of persecution following the 2003 invasion, the Baghdad church bombing in 2010, and ISIS’s takeover of the Nineveh Plains in 2014. Christians have repeatedly pointed out that rampant discrimination and marginalization, combined with failed security, have led them to experience intensive persecution leaving them no choice but to emigrate.

Iraq’s government continues in its failure to fill key cabinet positions.

For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]