Iraq to host conference on religious tolerance

Baghdad, Iraq - Iraq will host a conference on religious tolerance and dialogue in October, a leading Baghdad daily reported Wednesday. Religious leaders of all faiths from around Iraq and the world would gather in Baghdad for a conference on religious dialogue organized by the US Institute for Peace, Baghdad's daily al-Sabbah said.

The daily said the conference would conclude with a final statement and a series of fatwas, or religious opinions from Muslim scholars, prohibiting the killing of any Iraqi, "whether he be Muslim, Christian, or a member of any sect or denomination."

Following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the country slid into a civil war fuelled by sectarian divisions that had been masked under the Saddam regime. Sectarian violence still affects some areas of the country, in particular the northern city of Mosul.