Tag Archives: Iraqi Christians

No Non-Christians May Apply

One of the most under-reported aspects of the Bush invasion of Iraq has been the devastating impact of the war on the lives of Iraqi Christians. The Christian presence in Iraq goes back over a thousand years, but due to changes brought about by the American-led invasion, at least half of the 800,000 Christians who were in Iraq in 2003 have fled for their safety. They are threatened by fanatic Muslim fundamentalists who do not wish non-believers in their midst. Sweden is among the few nations which have responded to the Iraq refugee problem which includes at least two million now trapped in Syria and Jordan and fearing to return.

The German Christian Democratic Union is pushing for a new plan which would allow 10,000 Iraqis to come to Germany as permanent residents. The catch is the offer would only be applicable for Christians. The proposal calls for allowing 10,000 people suffering religious persecution to enter Germany which, in effect, means they would be Christians.

It is an interesting proposal although a bit tainted by only allowing Christians to enter, but, in these days, half a loaf is better than none. Perhaps, Germany could learn from the example of Sweden which has opened its doors to thousands of Iraqis, Christian or Muslim or non-believer.

Iraqi Christians Demonstrate Against Militant Violence

When the Bush invasion of Iraq began in 2003 there were approximately 800,000 Christians living in that nation. The born-again Christian president’s policies have resulted in the departure of about 400,000 of those Iraqis who have fled to avoid attacks by militant Muslims. During the past two weeks, Iraqi exiles in Belgium and Sweden have protested in order to highlight the attacks on Christians in Iraq. They are attempting to call attention to the ongoing terror, violence and murders of Chaldean, Syriac and Chaldean clerics in their former country. Behiye Hadodo, the Swedish repesentative of the European Syriac Union told a crowd gathered outside the Swedish parliament: “A new wave of ethnic cleansing is going on in Iraq. If these atrocities continue, the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian communities there will be wiped out altogether.”

About half of the 70,000 Iraqi Chrisitans living in Europe are in Sweden which has opened its doors to the refugees. They want a UN conference on the plight of Iraqi Christians. Ironically, despite Bush rhetoric about God, Christianity, and democracy, the United States has done little to offer refuge to Iraqi Christians let alone afford them protection in Iraq.