Iraqi Christian MP Younadem Kana slammed foreign offers of asylum for Iraq’s increasingly endangered Christian community, insisting European nations offering asylum to them were “interfering” in Iraq’s internal politics.
Iraq’s parliament guarantees a few seats for its various religious minorities based on their populations, so it is clear what MP Kana stands to lose if large numbers of Iraqi Christians flee, but with violence against the community on the rise and the government either unwilling or unable to protect them, many will likely continue to leave.
France, one of the nations at the forefront of accepting the refugees, has defended the practice as part of a long tradition of allowing asylum for foreign people facing religious persecution. In addition to Western nations, Syria has also accepted a large number of Christian refugees.
Some Iraqi Christians have been floating the idea of founding a mini-province in northern Nineveh that is exclusively Christian and modeled after the Kurdistan Regional Government. It is unclear, however, whether there are enough Christians left in Iraq to make this a worthwhile proposition.