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Persecution

Remember the Christians in Iraq?

Charlie Butts   (OneNewsNow.com) Thursday, May 16, 2013

Christians in Iraq fear their plight may have been forgotten by the rest of the world.

Jerry Dykstra, a spokesman for Open Doors USA, says American troops have left Iraq, and Christians seem to be an open target for extremists.

"We know that there's more and more violence there, there's more and more Christians leaving, and, in fact, one of our field workers said that they wanted to be a Muslim-only country," Dykstra relays. "They want the Christians out completely."

At one point, many Iraqi Christians who did leave fled to Syria, but the conflict there is sending them back to Iraq, where conditions are much worse than when they left. That is even the case in Mosul, the biblical city of Ninevah which has been largely Christian.

"Many Christians are fleeing cities like Mosul and going to the northern part of Iraq, which is called Kurdistan," the Open Doors spokesman reports. "And even there there's a lack of security, and [there are] kidnappings, church attacks."

In the early 1990s, about 1.2 million Christians lived in Iraq. But the persecution has reduced that number considerably.

"We know that over probably the last ... 15-20 years, the population of Christians in Iraq, we estimate at Open Doors to be about 330,000," Dykstra tells OneNewsNow.

Iraq remains number four on the Open Doors World Watch List of hot spots where Christians are heavily persecuted. But the Christian community in Iraq continues to ask for prayer.

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