April 21, 2023

Turkey: The Abandoned Iraqi and Syrian Christian Asylum Seekers

Back to All
by Uzay Bulut, Research Fellow

The Christians of Iraq and Syria have for decades suffered from persecution and instability

caused by oppression by the Ba’ath regimes, the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, the outbreak of Sunni-Shiite fighting in 2006, al-Qaeda terrorism, the 2014 genocide by ISIS, ongoing Turkish airstrikes on Iraq and Syria, and in many cases, pressures and harassment at the hands of their Muslim neighbors. All this persecution has forced many of them to leave their home countries and seek asylum elsewhere.

According to a report by Open Doors:

“Iraq is home to a number of traditional Orthodox and Catholic churches, but all are seriously affected by intolerance, discrimination and persecution from local leaders, government authorities and Islamic extremist groups…. In the Nineveh Plains region, church leaders have been kidnapped in the past; those speaking out against local militias or political leaders are particularly at risk.”