Persecution! Christianity in Danger of Extinction in Iraq: 1.5 Million Christians Have Fled

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The rise of the Islamic State has caused as
many as 1.5 million Christians to be
displaced from Iraq, which has caused fears
that Christianity may be totally wiped out
from the region.
According to Christian lawyer Josef Sleve, 14
years ago, there were nearly two million
Christians in Iraq. There are now only
500,000 to 850,000 left.
“This means that over the past 14 years,
some 1.5 million Christians have emigrated
to other countries,” said Sleve, according to
Christian Today.
Although the Islamic State has been a main
contributing factor to the mass exodus of
Iraq’s Christian population, many Iraqi
Christians began fleeing their homeland even
earlier when conflict in the early 2000s
drove them out.
The huge number of Iraqi Christians who
have left their country has caused many
Christian leaders to question the future of
Christianity in the region.
“Given this tsunami of emigration…what
future is left for the Church? What will
become of our homeland? What will become
of our parishes and institutions?” asked
Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios
III in 2015.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who
is visiting the Holy Land this week,
expressed sympathy for the plight of Iraq’s
Christians:
“The Iraqi Christians I met yesterday say
they feel the world has forgotten them,
because the focus of the international
community is now on Syria. Iraqis, they say,
are at the bottom of the list when it comes
to resettlement or support.”
As Iraqi forces, aided by a coalition of allies,
including U.S. forces, are fighting to drive
the Islamic State out of Iraq, and particularly
Mosul, the Islamic State’s last major
stronghold in the country, some Christians
are returning to their homeland, but with
fighting continuing, the future of Iraq’s
Christian population remains uncertain.
Source: Christian Headline

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4 thoughts on “Persecution! Christianity in Danger of Extinction in Iraq: 1.5 Million Christians Have Fled

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