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ICC Note: The need for assistance in Iraq remains critical. More than 2 million have been displaced from their homes. As jihadists from the ISIS militant group seek to solidify their hold on land across Iraq the future of a home for Iraq’s Christians is in doubt. The Iraqi government, along with the United States and other countries are trying to provide aid to help make it possible for them to stay in Iraq.

12/25/2014 Iraq (U-T San Diego) The horrific persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq continues. Tens of thousands have been forced from their homes by the merciless Islamic State in northern Iraq. Untold numbers of Christian and Yazidi women have been enslaved or raped, men simply killed. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a Christmas Eve message urging Christians to stay, but there are few places in Iraq where they are safe. On Christmas, the churches of Baghdad were said to be largely empty.

The response by the Obama administration and Congress has not been passive; airstrikes by coalition forces have been effective at slowing the ISIS campaign.

But it was only last week that Congress passed and Obama signed legislation funding the president’s plan to fight the Islamic State and reclaim the vast territory claimed by ISIS. The first of 1,500 troops to be sent to help train Iraqi forces are just now getting under way. 

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