The time since President Trump’s executive order temporarily halting some Middle Eastern immigration has been distressing for me as an Iraqi Christian immigrant. I’ve said many times, that as completely integrated as I am as an American, I cannot deny that “Iraqi Luma” is part of who I am. It took me years to overcome the desire to reject that part of my identity, and to accept that to thrive I must find a way to integrate East and West within myself.
So I’m concerned about what I’m hearing from some of the priests representing Iraqi Christians in Iraq. Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad said: “Every reception policy that discriminates (between) the persecuted and suffering on religious grounds ultimately harms the Christians of the East”
He went on to explain that prioritizing Christians is not good because it invites harsher treatment from Muslims, increasing tensions and accusations that Christians communities are “foreign bodies… supported and defended by Western powers.” The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo SJ, said “speeches” or “measures and laws” that seem to privilege Christians “feeds fanaticism and extremism.”
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