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ICC Note: The majority of Christians in Iraq have left the country as a result of persecution under the Islamic State. Even those coming from a Muslim background are persecuted by their family members for converting to Christianity. Despite all the chaos, the small group of Christians that still live in Iraq are looking forward to celebrate the birth of our Savior this year again.

 12/18/2017 Iraq (Fox News) –  Just days shy of Christmas, dozens of Iraqi children fill the stage at Baghdad’s Alliance Evangelical Church to practice “Jingle Bells” and rehearse their Nativity play.

They are excited and happy. Even though, for many, this will be the last Christmas in their ancient homeland.

“The majority of Christians have left and we are, too,” one of the children says.

Those words have become an incessant refrain to Rev. Joseph Francis Joseph, president of Alliance churches in Iraq. There has been little he can do but watch as the country’s Christian population plunges — from 1.5 million before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to about 200,000 today – the result of systematic persecution, plus the genocidal onslaught of ISIS in 2014.

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