The Iraqi Parliament is taking great strides to ensure that Christians remain vulnerable in their country. While many are fleeing the country because of the violence of ISIS and others are simply too destitute to have means to leave the country, a law was passed late last month that affected children exclusively.
The Iraqi government passed into legislation that any children of a father who converts to Islam or a woman who marries a Muslim are automatically considered to be Muslim themselves.
An amendment was put forth by the Iraq’s non-Muslim religious communities that sought to allow children religious autonomy until age 18. It was rejected– 137 votes to 51.
Groups protested the law early this month before the UN office in country. They cite the total lack of regard for religious freedom and diversity as well as the inequality it creates among citizens.
Iraq’s constitution has a provision against religious coercion and this new law stands as the exact opposite. Christians are already facing a genocide in Iraq and the new law is a slap in the face to say the least.
Catholic Bishop, Rabban al-Qas, in Iraqi Kurdistan has already spoken up about how the law will only serve to “drive Christians away”. He makes clear the solemn state of the Christian faith in Iraq:
“We are facing a genocide in a country that knows only death and liberticidal laws…Here there is neither freedom nor respect.”
There are those who believe that Iraq will see the end of any Christian presence very soon.