Christianity in Iraq
After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, violence against Christians rose, with reports of abduction, torture, bombings, and killings. Some Christians were pressured to convert to Islam under threat of death or expulsion, and women were ordered to wear Islamic dress.
In August 2004, International Christian Concern protested an attack by Islamists on Iraqi Christian churches that killed 11 people. In 2006, an Orthodox Christian priest, Boulos Iskander, was beheaded and mutilated despite payment of a ransom, and in 2008, the Assyrianclergyman Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of the Chaldean Catholic church in Mosul died after being abducted. In January 2008, bombs exploded outside nine churches.
How the Iraq War Became a War on Christians
And why supporting Syria's rebels may extinguish Christianity in its oldest environs.
By ANDREW DORAN • May 9, 2013
IRAQ’S FORGOTTEN MINORITY
The country has become a particularly dangerous place for Christians.
By Doug Bandow – 1.1.07
*It was Christmas in Iraq as well as America, but there were fewer celebrations than in the past. Iraq has become a particularly dangerous place for Christians: it is safer to stay home than attend services, and even better to seek refuge in Kurdish territory or leave Iraq entirely.
Iraq's Beleaguered Christians More Fearful Than Ever
August 2, 2004 - 8:15 PM
Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - A spate of coordinated car bombings at churches in Iraq has shaken a Christian minority already deeply anxious about its future.
An Assyrian campaigner Monday predicted that the steady flow of Christians leaving Iraq would swell to a flood in the aftermath of Sunday's bombings, which killed at least 11 people.
Five churches in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul were targeted in the blasts, evidently timed to cause maximum casualties during evening services. Scores of people were injured and the number of fatalities was expected to rise.
U.S. Bishops Call for Protection of Iraq’s Christians
Robert Spencer Oct 31, 2006
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Policy has asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to consider measures that would help improve the deteriorating situation for Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.
The complete text of Bishop Wenski’s letter follows.
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C. Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Madame Secretary:
On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I am writing to you to express our deep concern and growing alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.
This is excerpt of the letter Obama wrote to Condelezza Rice in 2007 urging action to protect Iraq’s Christians
Flashback: Obama Urged Action to Protect Iraq’s Christians – in 2007
July 24, 2014 - 4:19 AM
(CNSNews.com) – The plight of Iraq’s Christians, targeted by Muslim militants, prompted a U.S. senator to write to the Secretary of State, voicing alarm about “their potential extinction from their ancient homeland” and saying the situation demands “an urgent response from our government.”
The letter was addressed to Condoleezza Rice, the date was Sept. 11, 2007, and the writer was Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), then running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In 2011 (covering events of the previous year) Iraq entered the watch list’s top ten, making eighth place. In 2012 it was ninth, but by 2013 Iraq had climbed to fourth place, the same positions in holds in 2014.
The deadliest single recorded act of violence against Iraqi Christians since 2003 occurred on Oct. 31, 2010: 53 killed in an armed attack on Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation church.