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Fears of ‘unchecked Islamic persecution’ in Iraq

Catholic World News - October 31, 2011

A year after the massacre at the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad left 58 dead, an Assyrian news agency is expressing concern about the future of Iraq’s Christian community.

“For Assyrians in Iraq, the scheduled departure of U.S. forces at the end of December, 2011 is of great concern,” the Assyrian International News Agency stated in an article commemorating the massacre. [“Assyrian” is a term that includes members of separated Eastern churches (the Assyrian Church of the East and the Syrian Orthodox Church) and Eastern Catholic churches in communion with the Holy See (the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Syrian Catholic Church).]

“The Shiite Maliki government is under the influence of Iran and the Shiites have not been friendly to Assyrians in Iraq, as they have engaged in the persecution and killing of Assyrians since 2004,” the agency continued. “Without the US presence as a deterrent, Assyrians face the danger of unchecked Islamic persecution.”

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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Nov. 01, 2011 3:13 PM ET USA

    I thought President Bush signed the agreement to leave Iraq by 12/11. The blood of martyrs has soaked the Middle East,will we see the seeds of Christians in our lifetime?

  • Posted by: rpp - Oct. 31, 2011 6:02 PM ET USA

    It was probably this very concern that lead Obama to accelerate the departure of US troops.

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