ALQOSH, Iraq — Farmers from the villages of Sharafiya and Bandawaya in the Nineveh Plains town of Alqosh, Iraq, called on Roman Catholic Cardinal and Patriarch of the Chaldean Church Mar Louis Raphael Sako and the Iraqi government to address the issue of land exploitation and the steep rise in rental prices.
In the aftermath of the loss of a monastery owned by the Chaldean Antonine Order in Iraq, a legal dispute has arisen. The lessor of the monastery filed a lawsuit against farmers in the village of Sharafiya in Alqosh District. In response, farmers from Sharafiya and Bendawaya are seeking intervention and justice from Patriarch Sako and the Iraqi government.
According to reports, the lawsuit imposes onerous conditions on farmers for the use of agricultural lands and mandates a 15-fold increase in land rental prices. The Chaldean Monastery page and other sources highlight that such measures, which hinder farmers’ livelihoods, not only violate the country’s food security but also force citizens to contemplate emigration due to the severe disruption of their means of sustenance.