12/23/2018 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Archbishop Louis Raphaël I Sako of Iraq’s Chaldean Patriarchate of Babylon has asked the Ministry of Education to review offensive statements which exist within the curriculum. A particular point of contention is a section in a fifth grade textbook which says that an unveiled woman is “sick.” Christian women do not wear a head covering and there is concern that teaching this kind of material incites violence towards Christians.
Iraq’s Christians have suffered massive waves of persecution since 2003 which have led to a significant decrease of population. These waves of persecution correlate to surges of violence in the country. However, daily life is challenging even in times of relative calm. Curriculum content such as this example encourage the ever present harassment and intimidation of Christians which set the foundation upon which the surges of violence builds.
The declared military defeat of ISIS in December 2017 was a pivotal moment for Iraq following 3 years of the militants’ destruction throughout the country. The government struggled to form in 2018. Many of those challenges and the consequences of months of a government’s absence continue to be felt. Going forward, there remains much work to do in Iraq for Christians to feel safe in their homes.
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