Iraq: Christianity

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 12th November 2010.

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Photo of Conor Burns Conor Burns Conservative, Bournemouth West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of Iraq on the recent killing of Christians in that country; and what response he has received in respect of the safety of Christians and their freedom to worship in that country.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Wednesday 10 November and raised the issue of Christians in Iraq. Zebari confirmed that the Iraqi government will safeguard the rights and freedoms of all minorities in Iraq.

Our ambassador to Iraq met with the Iraqi Minister for Human Rights on Thursday 11 November and raised our concerns with her.

In the wake of the attack on the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad on 31 October, the Iraqi Prime Minister called on the armed forces and the security forces to remain on maximum alert, and to exert maximum efforts to secure mosques, churches and all places of worship.

The Under-Secretary for State for Foreign and Common-Wealth Affairs, my hon. Friend Alistair Burt released the following Alistair Burt released the following statement on the attack:

"I utterly condemn the attack against Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad. My thoughts are with the families and friends of all those that have been killed or injured in this tragic event. I urge the Iraqi authorities do all they can to bring to justice those who are responsible for this attack on innocent worshippers, and all Iraq's politicians and diverse communities to work together to tackle the threat of violent extremism."

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