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Church’s political role sparks debate among Iraqi Christians

The Iraqi Chaldean Catholic Church attempts to have a bigger role in Christian politics, but Christian parties see this as unwarranted interference by the religious institution.

The Chaldean Catholic Church headed by Cardinal‎ Louis Raphael I Sako is trying to play an important role in politics that resembles the role of the senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Although this role is not direct intervention in politics but only an advisory role that provides support to certain political issues, it triggered the reactions of Christian political parties that want to have the only say in decisions related to the Christian community. They want to be entirely separate from the religious institution in the country.

The latest development in the ongoing debate between the church and the Christian parties is the refusal of the five members of parliament of the Christian bloc to support the candidacy of church-backed Hanaa Korkis as minister of displacement and migration. Due to the Christian bloc's opposition, Korkis did not receive the parliament’s confidence vote, and she also did not receive the support of Christian allies in parliament such as the Al-Binaa Alliance.

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