09/11/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Iraq’s Prime Minister has ordered that all sectarian labels for government employees are removed. This directive comes after the government received criticism for publishing a list of applications accepted into a military college which also labeled their religious sect as either Sunni or Shiite. He tweeted that “such a classification is cancelled in all state institutions.” The tweet also noted that the only label for employees should relate to geographical distribution.
Sunni-Shiite sectarianism has caused a significant amount of violence in Iraq, facilitating the exodus of Christians from the country. Removing sectarian labels is a positive step for national harmony. It also has the added benefit of removing at least one discriminatory obstacle in the way for Christians seeking government employment. Christians can still be excluded on other grounds. For example, Christians cannot serve as judges since they cannot take an Islamic oath. It is also worth noting that citizenship and identity cards will still display all sub-identities, including religion.
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