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Iraq: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 51270, tabled on 31 October 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to enable Christians to stay in Iraq.

Answered on

8 November 2016

​Ultimately, the only way of safeguarding minority communities and enabling Christians to stay in Iraq freely is by defeating Daesh and establishing a lasting peace. The Government is committed to this: we have a comprehensive strategy for defeating Daesh and continue to support the Government of Iraq in its efforts to build a more inclusive society.

We are also working with our international partners and the Government of Iraq to ensure that Daesh is held to account for its appalling crimes, including against Christians. At the United Nations General Assembly on 19 September, The Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson), alongside Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari and the Belgian Foreign Minister, launched a global campaign to hold Daesh to account for its crimes. The campaign has three mutually reinforcing objectives: supporting national and international efforts to ensure Daesh and its followers are brought to justice; empowering survivors of Daesh crimes; and ensuring that where Daesh tries to stoke division, hatred and violence, the pursuit of justice unites all our communities – local, national and international.

Through the UK's Conflict, Security and Stability Fund we are also supporting community cohesion, encouraging reconciliation and promoting acceptance and tolerance between communities at a grass roots level. We continue to encourage political and religious leaders in Iraq to speak out publicly and condemn sectarian violence. And we will continue to explore what further support we might be able to provide to vulnerable groups and internally displaced persons.