The committee that is overseeing the return of buildings and properties stolen in Iraq from Christians and members of another minority group has been expanded.
Three new members have been appointed to the Committee for the Restitution of Christian and Sabean Property to assist in the review of documents that prove rightful ownership.
Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who set up the committee in order to put an end to the violation of property rights of his “Christian brothers”, said the expansion was necessary because of the growing number of reports and complaints that it is receiving.
More than 120 houses, factories, shops and parcels of land in the cities of Baghdad, Mosul, Basra and Kirkuk province were officially returned to Christians and Sabeans (a religious minority indigenous to Iraq) in February 2022.
It is estimated that 75% of Iraq’s Christians (around 1.5 million in 1990) have left the country in the last 30 years because of anti-Christian hostility and violence, which began after the 1990-91 Gulf War and intensified after the US-led invasion of 2003 and again after the emergence in 2014 of Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh).