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Iraq: Christianity

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received on persecution of the Christian community in Iraq; and what estimate she has made of the number of Christians who have (a) been displaced from their homes in Iraq and (b) left Iraq. (137230)

We monitor the situation of Iraq’s Christian and other minority communities closely through our regular contacts with the Government of Iraq, Christian politicians and community representatives in Iraq and London. Most recently, on 10 May our embassy in Baghdad raised the issue of threats against Christians in the Dora district of Baghdad with the Iraqi Minister of Interior and encouraged the Iraqi Government to take action.

We remain deeply concerned about the impact of violence on all Iraqis and continue to press the Government of Iraq to improve security and support international efforts to care for those affected by violence. Since the beginning of 2007 we have allocated £10 million for the humanitarian effort co-ordinated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and International Committee of the Red Cross. This brings our total humanitarian contribution in Iraq to over £125 million since 2003.

While there are no comprehensive or reliable figures available on the number of Christians displaced or who have left Iraq since 2003, the International Organisation for Migration estimates that 7-8 per cent. of people internally displaced in Iraq in 2006 were Christians.