To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of Christians who have left Iraq in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
16 November 2015
The UK Government continues to condemn in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by ISIL in Iraq against all communities, including Christians, throughout the areas under its control. The human rights situation for many living in ISIL-held areas remains of grave concern.
We do not currently have estimates for the number of Christians who have fled Iraq due to the atrocities carried out by ISIL. We do, however, continue to encourage Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to ensure all minorities are represented in Baghdad and their rights protected. We welcome the commitments he has made to inclusivity, to protecting Iraqi citizens, addressing human rights abuses and holding those responsible to account. We continue to engage with minority leaders in Iraq. On Monday 10 November, the Minister of State, my noble Friend the right hon. Baroness Anelay of St Johns met with Father Pios, a Catholic priest sheltering Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq, and she discussed the situation of Christians in the country.