10 Highlights From First-Ever State Dept. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom Worldwide

10. Iraq

Ministerial to advance religious freedom
National flags flank a sign promoting the first-ever State Department Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, D.C. on July 24, 2018. |

It's no secret that persecution ran rampant in Iraq when the Islamic State took over large swaths of territory in the Nineveh region of Iraq in 2014, forcing Christians and other religious minorities to flee their homes or face death at the hands of the jihadi death cult.

Although the world was horrified by the systemic killings, enslavement, rape, torture and genocide inflicted in Iraq, the terrorist group has largely been pushed out of its strongholds and Christians and other communities are in the process of rebuilding their ravished communities.

A delegate from Iraq told the ministerial that the people of Iraq have "rejected" the practices of the Islamic State. Iraq is also listed as a USCIRF Tier 2 country of concern for religious freedom.

"We were able to stand in one line against this organization and our own force with all types [continued] in the fight against ISIS until we liberated the areas that were under occupation of this terrorist organization with assistance and aid of international coalition," a delegate from Nineveh said.

"The Iraqi government took many steps and measurements to [promote] human rights and refusing discrimination based on ethnicities and religions. We reaffirm our commitment to defend all Iraqis without any discrimination based on ethnicities or religion. We guarantee the liberty of all our people to practice their beliefs. We call upon all international organizations to continue providing assistance to the government of Iraq and its fight against terrorism."

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