ASIA/IRAQ - Parliament rejected the request to change the law on the religious affiliation regarding children

Baghdad - Parliament in Iraq rejected the proposal - made by Christian representatives, but supported by parliamentarians belonging to different alliances - to amend the law according to which a child is automatically registered as a Muslim, even if only one parent converts to Islam. The proposal, put to the vote on Tuesday, October 27, asked to add a sentence in the section of law regarding minors, in order to establish that children remain in the original religion of belonging until they reach eighteen years of age, and then freely choose the religion they want. The request found the support of 51 deputies, but 137 MPs voted against the proposal.
In September, the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church, Louis Raphael I had sent a letter to the Iraqi parliament with a request to change the law, emphasizing its incompatibility with Article 37/2 of the Iraqi Constitution, which guarantees "the protection of the individual from any form of intellectual, political and religious coercion". "Christians – the Chaldean Patriarch wrote in the letter, sent to Fides - respect the freedom to change their religion as long as this change is not forced".