By Wassim Bassem for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Minority populations are suffering in areas under the control of militants in northern and western Iraq, where their temples have been destroyed and they are forbidden to build new ones.

Meanwhile, these groups are enjoying freedom and safety in the predominantly Shiite southern areas, where the Iraqi government sponsors and supervises construction and renovation projects and allocates large sums to protect the holy places of minority groups.

The Iraqi Cabinet’s Office of Christian, Yazidi and Sabean Endowments oversees several temple construction and renovation projects, including the construction of the administrative building of the Church of Saint Mari, the Apostle of the Assyrian Church of the East.

This building has been allocated 250 million dinars ($214,000), and 90% of the project has been completed, the office’s head Raad Kajaji said Oct. 1.

One such project, a Sabean “mandi,” was completed Sept. 20 in the predominantly Shiite city of Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad.

Ayham Nasser, a Sabean Iraqi from Diwaniyah, told Al-Monitor, “The community members chose the Tigris River as the project’s location due to a link between their beliefs and the water.” He said that the mandi will begin operating in early 2017, adding, “The local government in Diwaniyah, in collaboration with the Ministry of Construction, has greatly helped facilitate the construction of the mandi.”

Nasser said, “Many Muslims living nearby are proud of this achievement, which they see as a symbol of religious tolerance at a time when religious extremism is widely spread across the region.”

Rriminal spend jail customer bank runaway "colluded" to steal more than two billion dinars
October 21, 2016 | 12:16

Integrity Commission announced on Friday sentenced a customer Ahli Bank of fugitive convicted of "complicity" with the government bank employees to steal two billion dinars and a half billion of public money.

The authority said that "competent integrity issues, the Criminal Court sentenced in absentia to prison, serving a customer Ahli Bank of oldest to steal two billion dinars and a half billion of public money by manipulating the electronic clearing procedures in collusion with other convicts,"

indicating that "a convicted fugitive (H.s.b ) the oldest to steal two billion five hundred million from the state’s Rafidain Bank funds in partnership and agreement with the convicted ( and other staff in the state Bank divisive cases.

"She explained the Commission, that "the details of the case do not refer to the convicted (H.s.b) to withdraw the amount under the instrument on his account in one of the private banks for the benefit of the convicted ( who deposited the instrument in the state’s Rafidain Bank – Branch brotherhood, and then the amount withdrawn without a government bank staff to send a notice to the National Bank, to verify the existence of sufficient credit in the first convicted account covers the amount of the instrument.

"She Integrity Commission, that "the decision of the judgment based on the provisions of Article (444 / fourth and eleventh) as well as to sentence to prison for ten years, to ensure the support of booking movable and immovable property, and giving the right to hand the affected request compensation if the acquisition of the decision become final ".

Referred to the Integrity Commission announced from time to time in the seizure attempts to steal public money and the release of definitive judgments against people convicted of attempted embezzlement of funds.