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Emma Khoury: Iraq’s disappearing Christians

ICC Note

Persecution is forcing thousands of Iraqi Christians to leave their homes. As the result, Christians are disappearing from Iraq.

04/09/2009 Iraq (Gainesville.com)-Ten percent of Iraqis were Christians 6 years ago, according to the iraqi government. Under Saddam Hussein the Christians in Iraq were protected by the Baathist state and not harmed. Accordingly they were allowed to live, work and practice their religion free of official harassment subject only to the same constraints imposed by law on all Iraqis.

Now the Christian population of Iraq is down to about a fourth of what it was before the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. Christians are publicly harassed; their women are insulted for not dressing as Muslims; their businesses destroyed; and their churches are bombed, with the result that many are fleeing abroad.

Long before the birth of Mohamed, Christianity was the dominant religion in Iraq and after more than a millennium after the Islamic conquest, the Chaldean and Assyrian Ancient Churches of Mesopotamia had survived, only now to face eradication because democracy has empowered intolerant fanatics to attack, kill, expel, and kidnap for ransom the powerless Christians.

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