Iraq: Patriarch sees need for Constitutional change as Baghdad erupts in violence once more
The Iraqi President Barham Saleh and the Patriarch of Baghdad, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, called for new elections after supporters of Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr clashed violently with Iranian-backed, Iraqi security forces, leaving at least 30 dead and nearly 800 injured.
Show: false / Country: Iraq / Iraq
As reported by Asia News on 31 August 2022, supporters of Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr clashed violently with Iranian-backed, Iraqi security forces, leaving at least 30 dead and nearly 800 injured. The report stated: “For hours, it was feared that the situation could degenerate into a full-blown civil war, which was averted thanks to an appeal by al-Sadr himself, who called on the demonstrators to disperse in order to avert further 'Iraqi bloodshed'.” The Iraqi President Barham Saleh and the Patriarch of Baghdad, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, are now calling for new elections to resolve the current political malaise.
Henriette Kats, persecution analyst at World Watch Research, comments: “The unrest erupted on 21 August when Moqtada al Sadr, leader of the coalition which won the October 2021 elections, announced his withdrawal from politics in a demonstrative gesture of criticism of the current political deadlock in which no new government has been formed. In response, his supporters took to the streets in several cities, occupying the presidential palace and other government buildings in Bagdad, and armed clashes broke out. Muqtada al Sadr then urged his supporters - who also called for the dissolution of parliament and new elections - to return home.”
Henriette Kats continues: “Fresh elections are an understandable hope for getting out of the current political deadlock, but whether that would bring about any profound change is debatable, especially for the Christian communities who are afraid what the future may hold. As reported by Vatican News (accessed 5 September 2022), at the Synod of the Chaldean Church which took place in Baghdad from 21-27 August 2022, Cardinal Sako spoke about building a democratic system based on citizenship and not on religious or ethnic background, as is currently the case. The Patriarch also stated that the country's Islamic heritage continues to make Christians second-class citizens and ‘allows the usurpation of their property’, making it clear that the current system leaves too much room for abuse and corruption.”
Henriette Kats concludes: “To thoroughly improve the situation for Christians, changes to the country's constitution and legal framework are important first steps. Ultimately, though, it is about a change in the mentality and culture of the population.”
for secure donations and anonymously evaluate access to our website. It also allows us to share our own YouTube videos on the website. Depending on the function, the data is passed on to third parties and processed by them. More information