IRAQ – Deadly protests in their country leave Iraqi Christians between hope and fear

Aleteia | Xavier Bisits-ACN-USA | Nov. 1, 2019

Iraqi Christians, concentrated in the north of the country, are far from the epicenter of deadly protests in Baghdad, but their fate may be tied to the outcome of what demonstrators are calling a “revolution” in Iraq.

While protestors in Baghdad have emphasized interfaith unity, protests have in fact been concentrated in Iraq’s nine Shiite provinces, with limited participation from the Sunni Muslim and minority-dominated north of the country.

Most Christians live close to Mosul, Iraq’s largest Sunni Arab city, where the streets have been quiet. Mosul residents told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that after three years of war, people are tired of violence and “do not want war anymore.” 

Protesting, they also said, might lead to accusations that they are ISIS sympathizers trying to bring down the Iran-backed regime—which could lead to an even more violent reaction from the militias and security services who control the city.

Christians in northern Iraq largely live in towns where, because of the fraught security situation, protesting is banned by security forces and the Nineveh Provincial Council. At most, some churches have held services calling for peace.