Displaced Christians Seek New Identities in Baghdad

MP Shorouq al-Abeji, a member of the coalition of civil society-minded Civil Democratic Alliance in Baghdad who is on a committee to follow up on how displaced Iraqis are faring, believes that the procedures for issuing new identity papers and other documents is not yet good enough.

“These procedures are one of the major dilemmas that many displaced people are facing,” she told NIQASH.

In a telephone interview, al-Abeji explained that the government had put in place measures to help those who had lost of all of their official documentation. But these were limited simply to providing direct aid in that realm and that nothing had really been done about collecting information on confiscated properties as a result of the current crisis.

“Baghdad has all the required information to re-issue official documents for the displaced that need them,” says Iraqi Christian MP, Yonadam Kanna.

Kanna says he’s suggested the Iraqi government form a new body that he thought should be called the National Commission for Disasters and the Forcibly Displaced. Its task would be assessing and compensating Iraqis for damages and to rehabilitate affected areas.

Kanna believes that now the situation in Iraq is about more than simply liberating areas occupied by the IS group and their followers. It must also be about reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure and compensating locals for their losses. “We need special projects that aim at civil peace. We need legal and social remedies for this illness,” he asserted. However, he added, “for things to go back to the way they were before the IS group, we’re going to need two to three years.”

(Christianity image via Shutterstock)

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