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Monday, September 10, 2012

MUSLIM ATTACKS REDUCING IRAQ'S CHRISTIAN POPULATION





Christians continue to be victimized in Iraq, and those that remain are questioning whether they should continue in the faith.
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 few months.


"There used to be a sizeable amount of Christians there -- in fact almost 100,000 -- but during the last eten 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.