Canada Urged To Open For Iraq 's Christian Refugees
As Iraqi Christians face persecution, more Western countries are being asked to give them asylum.
05/05/2008 Iraq (BosNewsLife) - A Canadian religious advocacy group has called for Canada to open its doors to Iraqi Christians, amid reports of persecution, BosNewsLife monitored Monday, May 5.
The One Free World International group in Toronto made the call, with a statement by a member, Reverend Majed El Shafie, reported United Press International (UPI) agency, citing Canadian media.
" Canada turned away a boat full of Jewish refugees in the Second World War," the statement said. "We can't have that on our national conscience again."
The group expressed concerns over assassinations and kidnappings, adding that several Christian churches have been bombed.
Christians make up only three percent of the Iraqi population, or about 750.000, but all face persecution under Islamic fatwas that call for conversion or death, several rights watchers have said.
Canadian authorities, including the Citizenship and Immigration Canada has reportedly the country would accept 2,000 Iraqi refugees this year, up from 900 last year. UPI quoted Spokesman Tim Vail as saying there were no plans to single out any religious group for special treatment, as decisions on who gets in are based on the advice of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
However Canada 's move seems to help a small number of people as many thousands of Christians have fled to neighboring countries Jordan and Syria and northern Iraq , according to church leaders and human rights groups.