the face of a new wave of attacks against the minority religious
Christian music-store owner Farques Batool, who was gunned down at work Sunday,
according to the Associated Press (AP). His teenage nephew also was injured in
neighborhoods littered with the remnants of bombed homes. But local leaders
blame al-Qaida in Iraq, which remains influential despite the surge of U.S.
troops in May.
Chaldean church leader Louis Sako said, according to the AP. “The objective is
refuge in the mostly Christian villages of Nineveh Plain. Others are crossing
the border into Syria or Turkey. Observers say the flight has created
significant humanitarian needs.
50, according to the Barnabus Fund. Noail is now living in a church.
Christian population is second only to Baghdad. “The fact that Christians are
now being attacked in the heartland of Christianity is very significant,” said
Canon Andrew White, the Anglican leader of St. George's church in Baghdad. “This
is the place where the people have believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob for 2,700 years. … These are our brothers and sisters, and we must not
into the organized attacks and has vowed to protect Christians. Responding to
the violence, police sent 2,500 additional troops into Mosul, the AP said. Yet
Iraqi Christians say they don’t know how long it will be before they feel safe
enough to return to their homes.
Article 50 from its new provincial election law, which would have reserved seats
on provincial councils for Christians and other religious minorities. Many
Christian leaders feared the clause’s removal would leave minority groups
unprotected from discrimination and harassment.
began and Islamic extremists began attacking Christians and other minority
communities, forcing tens of thousands to flee the nation. Today the number of
Christians in the nation has dwindled from 800,000 in 2003 to roughly 100,000.
and other aid, reported that leaflets are being distributed telling Christians
they must leave Mosul or face death. The organization has asked for help aiding
the refugees, saying the number of fleeing families is increasing by the hour,
and a humanitarian crisis is “imminent.”
will not leave the nation for good as a result of the violence. He said
Christians are desperately needed in the Middle East. “Assyrians were the first
group of people to accept the gospel, and they took the gospel to … the
world,” he said.
Assyrian missionaries in nations such as China, which severely limits religious
freedom but allows entry to what it considers historic religions, Joseph said.
“I think what the devil is trying to do is destroy this little group,” he told
Charisma, “because they have the key for reaching these tough nations.”
—Adrienne S. Gaines