Christians continue to be victimized in Iraq, and those that
remain are questioning whether they should continue in the
Jerry Dykstra of Open
Doors USA says believers have not only been injured in
recent incidents between Muslim factions, but they have been
specifically targeted for their faith. Christians in Mosul, the
nation's third largest city, have especially suffered in the past
"There used to be a sizeable amount of Christians there -- in
fact almost 100,000 -- but during the last ten years or so, that
has really gone down to about 25,000," Dykstra reports. "So, they
have been targeted, especially in Mosul. They have been threatened.
They have been kidnapped."
Many have gone to northern Iraq, while others fled to Lebanon
and then Syria. But Christians have even been leaving those
locations. There are about 345,000 Christians remaining in Iraq,
compared to a million in 2003.
But the Open Doors spokesman assets that his organization
remains committed to Iraq "through distributing Bibles and
Christian literature to churches, working with internally displaced
people, especially in the North, and translating literature,
including the Bible, into the Kurdish language. "And we also do a
lot of trauma counseling and training leaders how to counsel
children," he adds.
Open Doors is calling for the American church to remember Iraqi
Christians and Open Doors workers in the country.