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Iraq : Christian leader warns against security “vacuum”

ICC Note

An Iraqi Christian leader warned the allied forces not to create security vacuum when they leave Iraq . Christian and other minorities should continue to be protected against violence.

02/23/2009 Iraq (AKI)-A prominent Iraqi archbishop on Monday warned foreign leaders against creating “a security vacuum” when allied troops withdraw from Iraq . “In Iraq it is important not to create a security vacuum also in regard to the process of reconstruction,” said Jean Benjamin Sleiman, the Latin-rite archbishop of Baghdad .

He said radical elements exist in Iraq , but the last elections have rewarded the moderates and secular candidates and this was a positive sign.

Sleiman said the Christian community in Iraq (photo), however, had to rediscover its true identity and not “always be overwhelmed by fear”.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee Iraq since the allied invasion of March 2003 to escape the violence and the economic crisis caused by the war.

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