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03/27/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Two months after they were taken hostage in Baghdad, yesterday it was announced that four humanitarian aid workers were released . No details concerning their release has been shared, but the announcement came the same day that France began pulling troops from Iraq.

The kidnapped workers were 3 French citizens and one Iraqi who worked for a Christian aid organization that provides help to persecuted Christians. Their kidnapping came at a time when tensions against foreigners significantly heightened following a US drone strike which killed key Iranian and Iraqi leadership figures.

Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Iraq, the drone strike had ignited a series of militia activity that approached 2007 levels, particularly in regards to targeted kidnappings. Iraqi militias are primarily supported and influenced by Iran. Although the virus has greatly changed the atmosphere of Iraq, forcing many to stay at home, the militias still remain heavily influential throughout the country. They are a constant persecution driver for persecuted Christians. Following ISIS, Iraqi Christians have come to rely upon foreign aid. For those working in humanitarian aid, and for those receiving, this environment is a dangerous one.

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