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Iraq moves to preserve Christian heritage, Syriac language

In light of the mass exodus of Christians from Iraq following the 2003 war, the government has initiated steps to teach Christian religious studies and the Syriac language in some public schools.
Iraqi Christians on a spiritual pilgrimage to the birthplace of biblical patriarch Abraham visit the ruins of Ur, southern Nassiriya province, about 300 km (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad, November 22, 2013. About 150 Christians from the southern Iraqi city of Basra took part in the pilgrimage to the ancient Sumerian city of Ur, revered as the birthplace of Abraham. Picture taken November 22, 2013. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani (IRAQ - Tags: RELIGION TRAVEL) - RTX15SNW

Over the past 11 years, the Christian population in Iraq has decreased by more than 75%. It started to decline gradually after 2003, following the overall rise in violence and attacks targeting Christians. Before 2003, there were around 1.5 million Christians in Iraq, and according to recent church figures, only 300,000 remain.

Perhaps this drastic difference pushed administrators in charge of education to find ways to preserve Christianity’s cultural and religious heritage in Iraq. Christianity is a major component of Iraqi society, and it would be incredibly negligent to allow it to disappear, under any circumstances.

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