04/19/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – This week, the United Nations began a push urging the Iraqi government to expedite Anti-Domestic Violence Laws. The country has remained under lockdown for almost 2 months because of COVID, and there has been a significant increase of social media reports of domestic violence. Many are calling for the authorities to make such behavior illegal.
Recently, ICC shared an article series exploring the problems of domestic violence that Muslim Background Believers (MBB) face. These problems become more challenging under COVID, even if they are locked inside with a family who does not yet know that they have converted to Christianity. The risk of abuse, and even deadly violence, runs high. In the context of Iraq, where the authorities often follow tribal customs rather than taking leadership to protect human rights, the problem is more severe.
For example, a pre-COVID case that ICC provided assistance for involved an MBB whose tribe issued a death notice against him. His conversion was discovered when he tried preventing a relative’s honor killing by the same tribe. Had this incident occurred during COVID, the domestic violence experienced at the hands of his family would have had no opportunities for escape and life-saving activities would have been impossible. Domestic violence is the most common type of persecution experienced by MBBs across the region, heightened notably in Iraq, where the tribe reigns supreme in an absence of law.
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