01/06/2021 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Muqtada al-Sadr, a top Shia leader in Iraq with strong leadership connections to the PMF militias, has ordered that a committee be formed exploring complaints by Christians of illegal property expropriations. These complaints became rampant following the 2017 defeat of ISIS in the Nineveh Governorate, when liberating PMF militias began supporting demographic change in favor of Shia Muslims from other communities settling in liberated Christian areas.
Al-Sadr visited Chaldean Patriarch Sako on January 3rd and gave him documentation regarding this newly established committee. But given al-Sadr’s connections to the PMF militias, it’s not clear whether any real change helping impacted Christians can follow from the committee’s formation.
Land expropriation is a common persecution theme for Iraq’s Christian community. The country is plagued by violence and tribalism. In such an environment, there is safety in numbers. But the number of Christians living in Iraq has significantly decreased throughout the years. They were already living as a minority facing persecution, but as their numbers dwindled, their ability for self-protection also decreased.
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