Christians Angered at Ending of Minority Quota Policy

  The Iraqi parliament has ended a policy of reserving seats in provincial legislatures for Christians and other religious minorities, which Iraqi Christians see as an attempt to push their communities to the margins of society.

“I think that some political groups are pushing the remaining Christians to leave Iraq,” said Afram Razzaq-Allah, a Christian who worships at a Catholic church in Baghdad. “They want us to feel that we are no longer Iraqis.”

Lawmakers say the policy was ended due to a lack of adequate census data. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki asked legislators and the electoral commission to restore the minority quotas: “The minorities should be fairly represented,” he said.