Skip to main content

Iraq: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL15654, tabled on 13 May 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 5 February (HL13010), what assessment they have made of the report by the Institute of Development Studies The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East, published in 2017, that estimates that in 2003 there were approximately 1.5 million Christians in Iraq, and that in 2017 that number was between 200,000 and 250,000.

Answered on

22 May 2019

While we are unable to confirm the exact numbers, we are gravely concerned about the decline in the numbers of Christians in Iraq in recent years as also cited in the independent interim report of the Bishop of Truro into the Persecution of Christians. We assess that a number of factors have resulted in this decline, including conflict and insecurity in Iraq and the particular threat posed by Daesh. We continue to engage with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government on the need to protect the rights of Christians and other religious minorities. However, during a recent meeting with the Iraqi Foreign Minister on the 17 May and the Archbishop of Erbil on 21 May I heard of the steps being taken to reopen churches and the increased number of church services being help in Iraq.