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ICC Note: As the violence in Iraq wages on, the possibility of Christian extinction in the region is becoming more of a reality. ISIS, a radical Islamist group from Syria and Iraq, has moved to take over major cities throughout Iraq. Inciting violence against Christians and other minorities, ISIS threatens to push out the Christian population all together.

ICC has launched a campaign to provide aid to the Iraqi church to assist those in need who have fled from the attacks. Go here to find out more and donate: Iraqi Crisis Response

06/25/14 Iraq (Algemeiner) – For most Westerners, Iraq is a foreboding and dangerous place that is filled with extremists and daily violence. Yet as little as 75 years ago Iraq was a vibrant country that was home to many different ethnic and religious minorities, including large Jewish and Christian populations.

But the latest round of violence spearheaded by the jihadist terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), which is driving through the heart of Iraq to the capital of Baghdad and inflicting medieval-style Islamic justice on anyone in its path, might be the last gasp of Iraq’s ancient Christian community, which faces extinction like Iraq’s Jewish community before it.

“Iraq used to be a beautiful mosaic made of many different faiths, including Judaism,” Juliana Taimoorazy, founder and president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, told JNS.org.

Like the Jewish people, the Christians of Iraq have a long and storied history that can be traced back to the very foundations of human civilization.

Most Iraqi Christians belong to an ethnic group known as the Assyrians. The Assyrian people consider themselves to be direct descendants of the numerous ancient Mesopotamian civilizations such as the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians.

“The Assyrians, also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs are the children of Sumerians, the original people of Iraq,” Taimoorazy said.

“For hundreds of years Christians have been marginalized in the Islam dominated part of the world. After the fall of Saddam the situation has been devastating for Christian Assyrians and other minorities such as Mandeans and Yezidies,” Nuri Kino—a Swedish-Assyrian Christian who is an independent investigative reporter, filmmaker, author, and Middle East and human rights analyst—told JNS.org.

“More than 60 churches have been attacked and bombed. Rapes, kidnappings, robberies and executions [are all prevalent],” Kino added.

Kino, who has been in constant communication with friends on the ground in Iraq, said that these attacks are all a part of daily life for Assyrians “who don’t have their own militia or any neighboring country to back them up.”

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