The Catholic University of America


On March 9, 2016, the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians asked the Obama Administration to ‘[a]cknowledge the ongoing genocide of Christians, Yazidis, and other religious groups being targeted for extinction in the territories controlled or attacked by the “Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham” (hereinafter “ISIS”) and its affiliates.”  The formal petition, entitled “Genocide against Christians in the Middle East”, was co-authored by CUA Law Professor Robert Destro, L. Martin Nussbaum, and Ian Speir, with the assistance of several CUA Law alumni.  The Petition includes thousands of signatures from concernd individuals from around the world and is supported by a database that includes the names of over 1,000 victims and statements by witnesses and victims in Iraq.
Read more about CUA Law's anti-genocide efforts. (forthcoming)


Religious Liberty in Iraqi Kurdistan:
An Introduction

In February 2012, Bishop Rabban Al-Qas of Duhok and Amadiiyah, and Minister Falah Mustafa  Bakir, head of the KRG's department of foreign relations, spoke as part of the law school's  Middle East Religious Dialogue Series.  



Video of the remarks: introduction at 0:14,
Bishop Rabban beginning at 4:40, and
Minister Falah M. Bakir beginning at 24:25. 

American Christian Leaders Delegation 2012

In November 2012, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick headed a most distinguished delegation of American Christian leaders to Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanied by longtime Kurdish observer Carole O'Leary, the delegation visited representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), including regional President Masoud Barzani  and Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda, to better understand the situation first-hand. Cardinal McCarrick was joined by Legate of the Armenian Church, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian; James Kowalski, Dean of St John the Divine Episcopal Church (New York); and Mr. A. Larry Ross, advisor to leading American Evangelicals.
Itinerary and Agenda.

Update – September 2014:
ISIS/ISIL and Refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan

Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, His Excellency Bashar Matti Warda, was a host of the 2012 delegation to Erbil and offered remarks at the 2012 conference in Washington.

In September 2014, after the spread of ISIS/ISIL to northern Iraq, Archbishop Warda offered an update on the situation of religious minorities and all refugees in the Kurdistan Region.  The video is eight (8) minutes long.

Update – November 2014:
Round table on Current Status and Urgent Needs of Refugees and IDPs in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Jiyan Merani, founder (1999) and director of the Ronahee Foundation in Erbil, will lead a round table discussion on the status of the various refugee populations, and a summary of a needs assessment she and her team recently conducted.

Of particular importance is the set of critical issues regarding the fast-approaching winter weather.  The round table will be at The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law, Wednesday, Novermber 12, 10:30am-12noon.

More information at