Iraq: Committee to ID crimes against Christians

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - The Prime Minister of Iraq has established a committee that intends to identify and document the homes and properties that have been fraudulently or forcefully seized from his country's Christians.

According to Barnabas Aid, the committee will carry out a census of the individuals and organizations that are currently occupying properties that previously belonged to Iraq's Christians.

Almost 70 percent of the Christian homes in Baghdad have been illegally expropriated, said Mohammed al-Rubai, a member of the city's municipal council.

"These houses belonged to Christians who fled Baghdad, seeking refuge from violent attacks targeting them and their homes. The title deed documents have been falsified and the new title deeds have been lodged with the real estate registry. Many properties had been given to other Iraqi citizens."

But these measures come too late for the thousands of Christians who fled their homes as Iraq fell into sectarian violence in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion by a "coalition of the willing". Today, there are only about 300,000 Christians left in Iraq, which previously had a population of more than one million.

As for the Christians who remain, many fear that the new initiative will not be of any help to them as the authority of the Iraqi government is limited and corruption is common among its Muslim officials.

Thousands of Iraqi Christians have already crossed over into other countries to live as refugees while others have taken refuge in the Kurdish territories north of Iraq.