Wednesday, January 17, 2007

To Be Christian in Bagdad

Via Talking Points Memo, a priest discusses what it is like to be a Christian in Iraq these days:

After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Christians have felt themselves increasingly under attack. During Saddam Hussein’s time, brutal acts were carried out against all Iraqis, but Saddam only permitted atrocities at his whim.

Without the security of Saddam’s strong central state and intelligence apparatus, sectarian, religious, and ethnic in-fighting has sprung up in much of Iraq. The Christian community, already small and isolated, primarily in Northern Iraq and Baghdad, has grown even more worried. They have faced a surge of attacks targeting them, attempting to push them from the country.

These attacks have been all too successful, today Iraq’s Christian community is almost entirely devastated. Most of them have fled to Jordan and Syria, many seeking a path to safety amongst other Christians in the West.

This has also led to the devastation of two of Iraq’s oldest idigenous communities, the Assyrians and Chaldeans, who are both primarily Christian communities now.

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