share

 Home | Government | WikiLeaks Information

WikiLeaks: 2009-10-19: 09BAGHDAD2813: GOI Reinforces Commitment to Christian Churches

by WikiLeaks. 09BAGHDAD2813: October 19, 2009.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 09:49 AM UT


Viewing cable 09BAGHDAD2813, GOI REINFORCES COMMITMENT TO CHRISTIAN CHURCHES

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs
Reference ID Created Classification Origin
09BAGHDAD2813 2009-10-19 12:33 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO3386
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2813 2921233
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191233Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5151
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 002813 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/16/2019 
TAGS: KIRF PGOV PHUM SOCI IZ
SUBJECT: GOI REINFORCES COMMITMENT TO CHRISTIAN CHURCHES 
 
Classified By: Acting DCM Gary A. Grappo for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: Over the past several months, 
the GOI has reinforced its commitment to Iraq's Christian 
community by inviting the Assyrian Church to relocate its 
headquarters back to Baghdad and by returning schools 
expropriated during the Saddam-era back to the Chaldean 
Church.  At the same time, employment discrimination within 
the Ministry of Education has emerged as a concern for Iraq's 
Christian community, an indication that sectarian tendencies 
remain within some parts of the government.  END SUMMAY AND 
COMMENT. 
 
2. (C) On October 5, Pol M/C met with the Prime Minister's 
Advisor for Christian Affairs, Georges Bakoos, who stated 
that PM Maliki had sent an invitation to the head of the 
Assyrian Church, Mar Dinkha IV, to relocate the Patriarchial 
offices back to Baghdad from Chicago where they have been 
located since 1940.  According to Bakoos, the PM has promised 
to provide the land and the money for the construction of the 
Assyrian Church headquarters and that the project plans are 
already in the works.  Bakoos also stated that Maliki had met 
with the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church, Cardinal Emmanuel 
Delly, on three separate occasions over the past year. 
Bakoos said that the Cardinal had asked the PM if the GOI 
could return seven schools in Baghdad and Kirkuk that had 
been run previously by the Chaldean Church, but had been 
taken by the government during the Saddam regime and made 
into public schools.  Bakoos said that the PM had agreed to 
the request to return the churches (with the exception of one 
which had a mosque built near it and for which the church 
would receive compensation) and had ordered the Ministry of 
Education (MoE) to effect the transfer for the start of the 
following semester. 
 
3. (C) While the school transfer appears to have been in the 
works for several months, it comes at a time when some 
Christian leaders have complained about discriminatory hiring 
practices at the MoE.  On September 21, former Minister of 
Displacement and Migration Pascale Warda and her husband 
William Warda, who heads the Hammurabi Human Rights 
Organization, told Poloff that the MoE had recently hired 
1580 new school teachers, but that only three of them were 
Christians.  On September 28, Christian MP Ablahad Sawa told 
Poloff that the Minister of Education was an extremist who 
had failed to hire Christians for years despite receiving 
numerous applications from the community.  On October 
12,Poloff raised the issue with the Minister of Human Rights, 
Wijdan Selim, who also acknowledged that the Minister of 
Education was someone with whom the Christian community has 
had problems for a couple of years.  Selim said that she had 
tried to raise the issue with him directly, but that he was 
"a hard person to speak with" due to his Islamist leanings. 
On the same day, Poloff raised the issue of hiring with 
Muntaha Alami, an advisor to the Minister of Education. 
Alami denied that there was discrimination in the hiring 
practices at the MoE and stated that Christians could teach 
any subject, with the exception of Islamic Studies. 
FORD

 



Government ForumGovernment Forum

WikiLeaks InformationWikiLeaks Information


Do you have any related information or suggestions? Please email them.

AIM | Atour: The State of Assyria | Terms of Service