Christians look for constitutional protections in independent Kurdistan

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By Namo Abdulla
Suffering persecution even before genocide under ISIS, Iraq’s Christian population has fallen from 1.5 million before 2003 to just hundreds of thousands today. Last month, eight churches were closed in Baghdad.
Rudaw’s Namo Abdulla sat down with three members of the Iraqi Christian community, Joseph Kassab, president and founder of the Iraqi Christian Advocacy and Empowerment Institute, Zina Rose Kiryakos, human rights attorney, and Asaad Kalasho, a prominent Iraqi Christian journalist, to discuss the concerns of their community ahead of Kurdistan’s independence referendum.

The panelists talked about past and current fears along with their hopes and desires for the founding of an independent Kurdistan, which will include not only the rights of the Assyrian, Syriac, and Chaldean communities, but the rights of all ethnic and religious minorities equally under a new constitution if Kurdistan becomes an independent nation, a nation that could attract Iraqi Christians from the diaspora.