‘There Has to Be a Shining City on the Hill’

Juicy Ecumenism - The Institute on Religion & Democracy's Blog

Iraqi Christians

(Photo credit: Al Monitor)

By Alan Wisdom

The Christian community in Iraq has suffered great loss in the decade since the U.S. invasion of 2003. Is there a ray of hope now that Iraq’s Assyrian, Chaldean, Armenian, and other Christians can find a secure future in the Kurdistan region? This was the possibility contemplated at a December 5 conference sponsored by Catholic University in Washington, DC.

Since 2003, Iraqi Christian homes, businesses, and churches have been targets of repeated violent attacks—bombings, shootings, kidnappings, arsons—perpetrated by militias aligned with other religious and ethnic groups. The central government has often been unwilling or unable to provide effective protection.

Although other Iraqis may identify the Christians with the United States and its western allies, in fact the Christians have gained little from the now fading U.S. presence. Many have fled the country. Most estimates now place Iraq’s Christian population at less than…

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