The rise of a Shia Vatican in Iraq

By Mehiyar Kathem for the Atlantic Council. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The rise of a Shia Vatican in Iraq

The way the past is used and managed can provide a unique insight into a country's political trajectory. Since 2003, no one has seen their power and influence change more than that of Iraq's Shia religious authorities.

Indeed, since the early years of the US occupation, attempts to break free from the legacy of dictatorship were pursued by an empowered Shia clerical class, known as the Marja'iya, to ensure that they could become independent.

Twenty years on, that goal has now been realized, and the outcomes are transforming Iraq and the landscape of the country's cultural heritage with it.

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