The Chaldean patriarch and the discourse of ‘inclusive citizenship’: restructuring the political representation of Christians in Iraq since 2003

Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Chaldean Church has sought to play a role in Iraqi politics that counteracts the impact of the declining Christian population. Within a general climate of identity politics and efforts to reformulate conceptions of Iraqi national identity and political represe...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Religion, state & society
Main Author: Monier, Elizabeth 1978-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Routledge [2020]
[publisher not identified]
In: Religion, state & society
Year: 2020, Volume: 48, Issue: 5, Pages: 361-377
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Iraq / Chaldäische Kirche / Christian / Citizen of a country
Further subjects:B Chaldean Church
B Inclusive citizenship
B Minorities
B church-state relations
B Iraq
B political representation
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
Description
Summary:Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Chaldean Church has sought to play a role in Iraqi politics that counteracts the impact of the declining Christian population. Within a general climate of identity politics and efforts to reformulate conceptions of Iraqi national identity and political representation of diversity, this contribution explores the role of the current Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako, the leader of Iraq’s largest Christian denomination. The contribution shows that Cardinal Sako emphasises the need for inclusive citizenship (al-Mowatana) for all Iraqis. I contend that this is in keeping with the modern history of relations between the state and the Chaldean Church, and also born of dynamics within the community, particularly with the growing diaspora, as well as political difference between Iraq’s Christian communities. The aim of Sako’s al-Mowatana discourse is to safeguard the stability of the central government as a bulwark against further violence and displacement, as well as to offer Christians a way to participate in rebuilding Iraq. The Chaldean Church represents Christians to the state, arguing for their significance in building bridges, but also promotes the state to Christians as viable and necessary for enabling Christians to remain in their ancient homelands.
ISSN:1465-3974
Contains:Enthalten in: Religion, state & society
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/09637494.2020.1835293