A petition signed by more than 800,000 people will be presented at the United Nations in New York today (12 December), calling for the protection of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, and recognition of the key role faith leaders can play in rebuilding efforts post-Islamic State.
The ‘Hope for the Middle East’ petition will be handed over by 12-year-old Noeh and his father, Hathem, from Karamles, northern Iraq, to representatives of the UN General Assembly, diplomats and members of other international bodies.
”We all hope to have our full rights in Iraq… This is the most important thing we need to continue staying in Iraq,” said Father Behnam Benoka, a Syriac Catholic priest from Bartella, northern Iraq, who is also part of the delegation. “The material things are really important. But to continue staying, to continue existing, we need to gain our full rights as real citizens of Iraq.”