Conference Overview

On December 5, 2012, the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America brought together scholars and policymakers to examine the history, challenges and prospects for Christians in Iraqi Kurdistan today.

Equal parts as an academic conference and a Washington policy forum, it brought together leading historians of Christianity in the Middle East, constitutional scholars on land, oil, and religious freedom, demographers of Christian populations on the move, a delegation of American Christian leaders reflecting on their visit last month to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (KRI), and inside-the-Beltway policy analysts and advisors. Panelists and presenters hailedfrom Austria, Belgium, Indonesia and the US (including the Kurdish diaspora), and the program included a message from His Excellency Bashir Matti Warda, Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq. The presenters were engaged by a lively group of attendees from Canada, Europe, Iraqi Kurdistan

and the US, who represented US and foreign government organizations, academic institutions, and over a dozen NGOs.

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Further Reading


Christian Communities in Iraqi Kurdistan

Welcome and Introduction

  • Prof. Robert A. Destro
  • John H. Garvey J.D.
  • John Desrocher

History of Christian Communities in Iraqi Kurdistan

  • Dietmar W. Winkler, Ph.D
  • Prof. Dr. Herman Teule, Ph.D.
  • Prof. Dr. Sidney H. Griffith, S.T., Ph.D.

Hopes for the Christian Communities in Iraqi Kurdistan

  • Archbishop Bashar Warda
  • The Most Reverend Vicken Aykaziar
  • Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski
  • A. Larry Ross

Regional Challenges for Religious Minorities in the Middle East

  • Thomas F. Farr, Ph.D.
  • Tamara Cofman Wittes, Ph.D.

Project Mission

A detailed blurb describing the mission and purpose of the project



Get in touch with the people who were involved



Project downloads: Detailed maps, Reports and Booklets



A collection of photographs taken during fieldwork