Decline in Basra’s Christian population raises concerns about future of Christians in Iraq post-2003

BASRA, Iraq — In the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the ensuing security challenges, the Christian population in Basra has witnessed a significant decline, with many compelled to seek refuge abroad, according to a report by Rudaw.

The Head of the Christian Endowment Committee for the southern region, Wael Yacoub, revealed a distressing trend wherein external pressures are being exerted upon Christians who have resettled beyond Iraq’s borders. These pressures aim to coerce property sales at undervalued rates or involve fraudulent manipulation of documents within Basra, facilitating property appropriation.

Highlighting a critical concern, Yacoub underlined the absence of an authoritative Absentees’ Property Committee. As a consequence, expatriates are compelled to engage legal representation to safeguard their property interests.

Yacoub emphasized, “The Church’s involvement is restricted to parish administration and it lacks the authority to intervene in these property matters.”

The dwindling Christian presence in Basra underscores the complex challenges arising from Iraq’s tumultuous recent history, signaling an urgent need for both local and international efforts to ensure the protection and rights of affected communities.