PM Barzani stressed the importance of fostering peaceful coexistence
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in a phone call with Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq and the world, discussed the status of the Christian community in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, according to a statement.
PM Barzani reiterated the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) support for the rights of all communities, especially the Christians in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
PM Barzani stressed the importance of improving the status of Christians in the Nineveh Plains and fostering peaceful coexistence, the statement added.
Cardinal Sako thanked the PM for his continued support and commitment to the Christian community.
There were an estimated 1.4 million Christians in Iraq, according to a census conducted in the early 1980s. However, that figure has shrunk due to the mass exodus and persecution of Christians post-2003 period.
Following the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2014, thousands of Christians fled to the Kurdistan Region, where they sought sanctuary in the multi-ethnic and Christian-majority town of Ankawa, whose population is estimated to be nearly 60,000 residents.
Religious leaders of the community have praised the KRG’s efforts to protect Christians. Their numbers have shrunk in Iraq since 2003 due to persecution and terrorism.