Iraq Day of Tolerance and Coexistence takes place on March 6 every year. It is a public holiday, and for that reason, schools and most businesses are closed. The holiday was declared in March 2021 by the Iraqi Prime minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. It is a means of promoting peaceful coexistence and encouraging Christians in the country. Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi announced the holiday after the visitation of the pope to the country. The pope and the prime minister had a heart-to-heart talk on religious matters, and it yielded positive results as the new holiday on peace and tolerance emerged.
History of Iraq Day Of Tolerance And Coexistence
Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, the Iraqi Prime Minister, declared the Iraq Day of Tolerance and Coexistence on March 6, 2021. The holiday was influenced by the historic visit of Pope Francis to Iraq whereby he met with prime minister Al-Kadhimi. Pope Francis’ visit was the first time the Catholic Church’s head visited the country. Both parties agreed that it was critical to protect the presence of Christians in the country with proper legal measures, as well as to foster an environment of trust and peaceful coexistence among Muslims, Christians, and other religious groups in Iraq.
Pope Francis planned his visit to Iraq in 2019. He had initially intended to visit Iraq in 2020. The idea was discouraged by the Covid-19 pandemic. He is not the first pontiff to convey a desire to visit Iraq. In 2000, Saint John Paul II planned a visitation, but there was a failure to negotiate the arrangement with the then government.
Despite the fact that Iraq is mainly Muslim, there are Christians there today. Iraq’s Christian population has declined dramatically, from approximately 1.4 million in 2003 to approximately 500,000 Christians in 2022. Christians had some religious freedom and protection under Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship. However, once ISIS took over vast portions of the country in 2014, it endured terrible persecution at the hands of the terrorist organization. After ISIS was defeated in 2017, many Iraqi Christians who had been on the run were able to settle and rebuild their lives.
Iraq Day Of Tolerance And Coexistence timeline
ISIS persecutes Christians in the regions they covet.
Christians rejoice as the extremist group ISIS faces defeat.
Pope Francis visits the country of Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi declares the Iraq Day of Tolerance and Coexistence in Iraq.
Iraq Day Of Tolerance And Coexistence FAQs
Are there Catholic churches in Iraq?
Yes, there are 17 currently active dioceses and eparchies in Iraq.
Do people celebrate Christmas in Iraq?
Yes, Christmas celebrations go on in Iraq.
Which Arab country has the most Christian?
Lebanon has the largest proportion of Christians.
How to Observe Iraq Day Of Tolerance And Coexistence
Partake in the celebration online
Join the online celebration of the holiday. Let friends know you're also celebrating with Christians in Iraq.
Donate to help Iraqi war casualties
Help people who have been displaced by the Iraq war and have no way of supporting themselves. Donate money to the appropriate organizations to provide these people with the aid they require.
Watch event celebrations online
You can watch the people of Iraq celebrate on T.V. stations or via the internet. This is a good way to mark this holiday.
5 Interesting Facts About Iraq
A Christian population of 500,000
According to the E.U. Research Services on minorities in Iraq, the Christian population is around 500,000.
A petroleum-based economy
The economy of Iraq relies on oil, which accounts for more than 90% of government revenue.
Iraq is a desert country
The majority of Iraqi land is arid, and only 12% of the land is suitable for growing crops.
Three major ethnic groups
The three major ethnic groups in Iraq with the highest population are Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen.
Two official languages
Arabic and Kurdish are the two official languages in Iraq.
Why Iraq Day Of Tolerance And Coexistence is Important
An end to extremism
The Iraqi government standing up for Christians in the country is proof that the terrible reign of religious extremism has indeed come to an end. People can look forward to living more free lives.
Safety for other religious groups in Iraq
With the declaration comes legal measures to ensure the protection of other religious groups in Iraq. People can finally be free to worship as they want.
It raises awareness about the war in Iraq
We get to sensitize people about the war in Iraq and the condition of the people there. And in doing so, make the public more empathic to war refugees.
Iraq Day Of Tolerance And Coexistence dates