Protests erupt in support of Chaldean Patriarch as communities rally against decree in Iraq

KARAMLESH, Iraq — The protests of Chaldeans–Syriacs–Assyrians, their political parties, civil society organizations, and churches of various denominations in Iraq continue in a show of support for Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako following the Republic Decree stripping him of responsibility for the Chaldean Endowment.

On Thursday, a demonstration took place in front of the Chaldean Mor Edde Church in the Nineveh Plains town of Karamlesh. The demonstration included community activists and religious leaders, including Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Mor Younan Hinno and Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul and Aqrah Mor Michael Najeeb.

During the protest, banners were raised to express solidarity with the Patriarch and advocate for the Church’s right to manage its endowment and rejecting any form of violations against Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people.

In comments to our newsdesk, Archbishop Najeeb questioned the constitutionality of the decision, which was originally issued in 2013, stating, “How can this decision, previously considered constitutional, now be deemed unconstitutional in the presence of the current president of Iraq, who was an advisor at the time?” He further emphasized their rejection of such inconsistencies in the application of laws, considering this decision as unjust towards their people.

“We cannot accept any form of prejudice against religious references and symbols,” he added.

The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq strongly condemned this decision, denouncing it as a dangerous escalation and blatant interference.

The Assyrian Observatory for Human Rights also expressed its opposition, stating that the decision has offended the Christian community in Iraq. It accused leaders of pro-Iranian militias of being behind it.