Thursday, 28 March 2013 11:06

Promoting the rights of Iraq’s ethnic and religious communities

Bronaya Eid (Baptism Ceremony) by the Sabean Mandean at the river Tigris on 17 March 2013. Bronaya Eid (Baptism Ceremony) by the Sabean Mandean at the river Tigris on 17 March 2013.

On 16 March, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (DSRSG), Gyorgy Busztin visited the newly invested Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic community, His Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako at his residence in Baghdad, to congratulate him, on behalf of the United Nations, on his election.


The visit was also an occasion to review the concerns of various components of the Iraqi society, including the Christian community, and to exchange views on the current political situation. His Beatitude emphasized the importance of the role UNAMI can play, encouraging all actors to address their differences through dialogue and in a brotherly spirit.


The diverse socio-cultural landscape in Iraq is unique; UNAMI is doing its utmost to keep this cultural and religious mosaic alive and vibrant, through closely working with representatives of all communities to promote inter-religious and interfaith dialogue. For instance, in its earlier engagement with the various ethnic and religious components in Ninewa, UNAMI facilitated dialogue towards the establishment of the Committee on Ethnic and Religious Communities to reduce tension among the religious communities in the governorate.


In its endeavor to strengthen unity and peace-building, UNAMI puts interfaith dialogue, tolerance and understanding among religious leaders, youth, civil society organizations and ethnic and religious components, among its top priorities. In this perspective, it also provides technical assistance to the Council of Representatives with respect to the development of a legislative framework to guarantee the administrative, political, cultural and educational rights of the various components of the Iraqi national fabric. 


Iraq’s components include religious, ethnic, and linguistic groups with some overlap. Armenians, Bahá’ís, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Assyrians, Faili Kurds, Sabean-Mandaeans, Shabak, Kakai, Turkmen and Yazidis are among the ethnic and religious communities of Iraq.


Religious minorities include Christians, Sabean Mandeans, Yazidis, Bahá’ís and a small number of Jews, living mainly in Baghdad and the North. The Christian community is ethnically diverse and includes Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriacs and Armenians. They are found in different parts of Iraq but mainly concentrated in Baghdad, Erbil (Ainkawa) and Mosul (Nineve Plain).

Last modified on Sunday, 30 April 2017 15:00

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