Iraq has been home to a Christian population for over 1500 years. The original Assyrian Christians were living in the area hundreds of years prior to the emergence of the Muslim religion. An unfortunate out growth of the ill conceived and ill planned Bush invasion of Iraq was the necessity for Christians to flee for their lives in the aftermath of violence and sectarian hatred. Thousands of these refugees headed for Kurdistan in order to distance themselves from bitter fighting in Baghdad and other areas of the country. There are now at least 6,000 Assyrian Christians located in the northwest region of Kurdistan close to the border of Turkey. By a quirk of fate, they are now caught between an angry Turkish army to the west and Kurdish rebels of the KKK to the east. According to a bishop in the Assyrian church, their villages already are being bombarded by Turkish forces. “The bombardment lasted for more than four hours striking farmlands, killing livestock and destroying orchards and roads.” The Christians know there is no road back to Baghdad and, apparently, no road to the west.
Bush’s conservative religious supporters are quick to denounce Democrats for failing to “support our troops” or back the supposedly wise policies of the president, but not a word from them about the destruction of Christian life in Iraq. There used to be about a million Christians in Iraq, but estimates now place their number around 400,000. Where do these people go? Thousands tried fleeing to Kurdistan and find themselves caught between a Turkish army massing on the borders and a defiant Kurdish rebel force. When will American Christians finally grasp that George Bush has essentially dealt a death blow to Christianity in the Middle East?