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Poll shows Iraq support for separating religion and government, backing religious leaders


(RNS) A new poll has found that a small majority of Iraqis support a separation between religion and government.

But in results that have not been made public, but reported by the Washington Post, the same poll shows a significant percentage of Iraqis backing leaders from explicitly Islamic parties or groups when elections are held in January.

Just over half of those surveyed agreed with the statement, "Religion and government should respect each other by not impeding on the rights, roles and responsibilities of the other."

Sixty-eight percent of those who said religion has a role to play in government identified that role as, "Government officials should publicly embrace and employ religion in carrying out their duties."