CHRISTIANITY IN IRAQ: HOPES AND CHALLENGES
November 17, 2022
Christianity in Iraq is on the brink of erasure. Once home to some of the world’s oldest Christian sites and communities, Iraq and the greater Levant has witnessed an onslaught of instability and violence targeting minority religions. Despite these challenges, leaders of Iraq’s Christian community have risen to become a voice for persecuted religious groups across the region. Archbishop Bashar Warda is a face of these efforts, and his remarks will draw upon both his experience in Iraq, and of the Gospel in defending Christianity and religious freedom today.
His Excellency Archbishop Bashar Warda is known for his wide-ranging defense of Iraq’s embattled Christians and minority religions. He was instrumental in the recognition of ISIS’s attacks against the Christians and Yazidis of Iraq and Syria as crimes against humanity. His efforts have been widely noted by international media, including by The Atlantic, and he has led advocacy for the region’s minorities worldwide, including at the UN Security Council. Alongside this mission, he is founder of Catholic University in Erbil and facilitated the first ever Papal visit to Iraq. He is born and raised in Iraq and holds degrees from St. Peter’s Chaldean Seminary of Baghdad, and Catholic University of Louvain. He was elected Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Erbil in 2009 and consecrated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI the same year.