Kurdish leaders call on Christians to remain in region after meeting with patriarch
According to Barzani’s press office, he “highlighted the tragedies suffered by the Christians and the people of Kurdistan” over the past years. He went on to note that the Kurdistan Region is ”home for all,” and called for Christians not to emigrate from their country.
Barzani underlined the need to promote a culture of accepting different religious and ethnic groups in Iraq in the current post-Islamic State stage.
Both sides also discussed ongoing threats of terrorism and extremist groups as well as the political and security situation in Syria.
The Kurdistan Region has a total population of 5.9 million people, with some 100,000 of them having been born into the roughly 2,000-year-old religion.
The Christian community in Iraq has, for decades, suffered from prosecution for their faith. In 2014, when the Islamic State emerged in northern, western, and central Iraq, tens of thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes, with many seeking refuge in the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by John J. Catherine