Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Clinton urged to protect ‘fragile’ Christian minority in Iraq

By Nathan Black

4/29/2010 Iraq (Christian Post) – Church leaders from various denominations have urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to work with Iraqi authorities in protecting the persecuted Christian minority.

The National Council of Churches and its partners throughout the world on Monday sent a letter to Clinton and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates expressing concern about “the ongoing situation of violent attacks on minority groups in Iraq.”

“Christians in Iraq have suffered more than a dozen violent deaths so far this year,” the letter states. “Our concern is now particularly acute because it is possible that tensions will increase as various political forces continue to vie for power following the recent elections.”

Iraq held its parliamentary election in March but the formation of a new government has been delayed amid heated disputes over the results.

As politicians continue to wrangle over a new coalition government, church leaders fear the “growing climate of mistrust and animosity” in the aftermath of the elections “will further threaten the fragile Christian community.”

Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, some 250,000 to 500,000 Christians, or about half the Christian population, have left the country, according to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.

Christians have been the target of attacks for years and violence against the shrinking community escalated earlier this year, ahead of the March 7 elections. At least 10 Iraqi Christians were killed by unknown gunmen in Mosul in February.

[Full Story]