ASIA/IRAQ - The Chaldean Church establishes a committee to monitor the changes of Christian property ownership

Friday, 15 April 2016 area crisis

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The Chaldean Patriarchate has announced the creation of an hoc committee to monitor sales and transfers of property ownership - houses and land - belonging to Christian citizens in Baghdad. The confirmation of the creation of the new organization came from Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I, who according to local sources consulted by Agenzia Fides, denounced the misappropriation of Christian property as a phenomenon which soared after the US-led military intervention of 2003, which led to the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein. This phenomenon, made possible by the complicity of corrupt officials, is according to the Chaldean Patriarch, an additional weakening factor of the Christian presence in Iraq.
In the statement issued to local media after meeting the heads of UN programs for Refugees, the Primate of the Chaldean Church also made explicit reference to the thousands of Christians in Mosul and Nineveh Plain forced to leave their homes before the advance of the so-called Islamic State (Daesh), stressing the need for their real estate properties to be protected from any attempt of illegal and abusive expropriation, so that their right to return to their towns and their villages can be guaranteed, if and when the northern areas of Iraq are liberated from the domination of jihadist militants.
Already in late February (see Fides 29/02/2016), the Iraqi Ministry of Justice Haider Zamili announced severe administrative penalties for corrupt public officials who favor real estate frauds against Christians, operating false registrations of ownership in the land registry offices. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 15/04/2016)