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
"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.
Seventy percent of Christians killed around the world in 2012
died in the African country of Nigeria, where the persecution