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6/17/2024 United States (International Christian Concern) — Iraq’s Personal Status Law, which mandates children adopt Islam if one of their parents converts, has forced a mother, Elvin Joseph, and her three daughters to convert from Christianity to Islam, following the revelation of her mother’s conversion to Islam after her divorce and remarriage to a Muslim man.

“I am married to a Christian man. I have three Christian kids. My education was in our language. All my official documents are Christian. Our marriage is registered by the church,” Joseph stated.

The implications of Iraq’s Personal Status Law affect more than just religious identity, impacting marital, inheritance, and custodial rights. Furthermore, the law states that if one spouse converts to Islam, Sharia would be applied, meaning that Joseph would not be allowed to marry a Christian man.

International Christian Concern (ICC) President Jeff King expressed his concerns about Iraq’s lack of democracy. He stated that, given the United States’ efforts to bring democracy to Iraq, Joseph’s court ruling should be brought to the attention of the U.S. Department of State.

“In an outrageous turn of events, an Iraqi court just ordered a Christian mother and her three children to convert to Islam in spite of the fact that she’s married to a Christian man,” King said. “The U.S. spent $800 billion and lost 4,500 military personnel across two wars in an effort to bring democracy to Iraq. I would suggest that this latest incident of the Iraqi government would warrant the attention and action of the highest levels of the State Dept. After all, we give Iraq $260 million in aid every year. A large chunk of that money is stolen by its leaders for their overseas villas and children’s tuition at the world’s top universities. Perhaps we could impress on them that we would like to see just a small return on that investment by restraining their errant colleagues in the Iraqi court.”

King has served as ICC’s president since 2003 and is one of the world’s top experts on religious persecution. He has advocated for the persecuted everywhere, including small and large churches, the U.S. Department of State, and the halls of Congress. King has testified before the U.S. Congress on religious freedom. He has been interviewed by numerous leading media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

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