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Iraqi Vice President Urges Christians To Stay, Seeks Help For Them

ICC Note

“Christians are an integral part of Iraq . We need to help Iraq and help Christians remain in Iraq ,”

04/15/2009 Iraq (AFP)- Iraq ‘s Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi Wednesday urged Iraq ‘s Christian minority not to flee the country and called on the international community to help protect the Christians from extremists.

According to Christian leaders, 250,000 of the 800,000 Christians who lived in Iraq six years ago before the invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein have now left the country, part of a larger refugee exodus.

“The position of Iraqi Christians is vulnerable and Iraq must not be left alone to face this. It’s a collective task,” Abdul Mahdi, himself a member of Iraq ‘s larger Shiite Muslim community, told a seminar in France .

“Christians are an integral part of Iraq . We need to help Iraq and help Christians remain in Iraq ,” he told delegates at a conference at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris .

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