Barnabas News, 10 July 2018
Christian business owners in a predominately Christian Iraqi neighbourhood must pay an extra fee to renew their business licences.
According to the local news site Ankawa Today, the tax is being “exclusively imposed by the Kurdish government on the people of Ankawa and not the other Kurdish towns” and is “clearly discriminatory against Christians”.
Christian residents and business owners claim they are also charged 10% tax when they sell their properties, compared with only 6% in other towns, and are facing discrimination including harassment by the KDP political police.
The news comes amid warnings this week that the number of Christians has fallen by two-thirds in Iraq due to violence during Saddam Hussein’s fall and the rise of Islamic State. It is estimated that there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq before 2003, but fewer than 375,000 today.