Christians calls for more rights in Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq, June 29 (UPI) — Delegates at a Christian conference near the Iraqi city of Mosul called on the government to strengthen the rights of the minority religious community.

The religious rights group Christian Solidarity International organized a conference for church and civil leaders in Iraq.

John Eibner, a U.S. representative of CSI, said minority religious groups in Iraq face “the prospect of extinction” unless basic human rights are guaranteed, CSI said in a statement.

Delegates at the Mosul conference issued an eight-point referendum calling for constitutional amendments in Iraq to strengthen minority rights and for peaceful dialogue between religious and ethnic groups.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in March that thousands of Christians were displaced from Mosul in northern Iraq because of lingering violence.

A spate of attacks rocked the Christian community of Iraq in 2008, displacing nearly half of the population.

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Kirkuk Louis Sako issued an appeal to Iraqi Christians during the conference, calling on them to stay in the country