Christians Under Attack In Iraq


In the past couple of weeks, two events have brought wide media coverage in Washington and Baghdad: George Bush’s personal interviews about his book, Decision Points, and the news that after eight months of impasse, the three political blocs – Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds – had reached a power-sharing agreement and there would soon be a functioning government!

Yet there has been little media coverage of the mourning of 400,000 Iraqi Christians who are feeling fearful and isolated because of the vicious violence directed against them in recent weeks. A heinous attack at the Syriac Catholic church in Baghdad Oct. 31 took the lives of 58 people, including women, children and the priests who served them. Hundreds more were wounded. Hundreds of thousands more – all that are left of Iraq’s indigenous Christian population that once numbered in the millions – have felt their security and their right to freedom of worship ebbing away in a tide of violence that is decimating Iraq’s religious and ethnic minorities. Similar acts of violence have terrorized the Christians of Nineveh Governorate in its capital, Mosul, and the surrounding areas. Christians are once again fleeing Iraq in great numbers. The Turkish government reports that they are receiving Christian families at the rate of 150 a week since the days after the attack on the Baghdad church.

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