ICC Note: A new report by Open Doors and Middle East Concern explains the plight of Christians in Iraq and Syria as ‘cataclysmic.’ The very existence of Christianity in these regions is under threat, the greatest threat since the foundation of the religion over 2,000 years ago. As the rate of emigration continues to grow, the Christian community in Iraq and Syria is destined to be utterly devastated.
10/13/2016 Syria & Iraq (Christian Times): The Christian communities of Syria and Iraq are in the middle of a “cataclysmic crisis”, a report warns today.
Their very existence is in peril as the world stands witness to one of the greatest threats to the Christian Church in the Middle East since its birth over 2,000 years ago.
Christians are facing targeted persecution and leaving Syria and Iraq at an increasing rate, the report says.
If this rate of emigration continues, within a few years the Christian communities in these countries will be utterly devastated.
It is both unthinkable and unacceptable for a fellow human being, particularly a fellow-Christian, to walk by on the other side, says the charity Open Doors in its report, Hope For The Middle East: The impact and significance of the Christian presence in Syria and Iraq – past, present and future.
The report, written by Open Doors working with Middle East Concern and the University of East London, warns that war in Syria and Iraq has “unleashed a tidal wave of violent persecution”.
This has targeted the highly vulnerable Christian population and has dramatically accelerated the flight of Christians from Iraq and Syria.
Before 2011, Syrian Christians numbered about eight per cent of the population of 22 million. Today about half are believed to have left the country. Before 2003, there were around 1.5 million Christians in Iraq – less than five per cent of the population. Today, estimates hover between 200,000 and 250,000.