Only 57 Churches Remain in Iraq, Down From 300 in 2003
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Mar 25
Iraq had 300 churches and 1.4 million Christians in 2003, but now only 57 churches and about half a million Christians remain, with members of the minority fleeing Islamist attacks, the Christian Post reports. "The last 10 years have been the worst for Iraqi Christians because they bore witness to the biggest exodus and migration in the history of Iraq," said William Warda, head of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, a registered local non-governmental organization. Patriarch Louis Sako of the Chaldean Church said the remaining 57 churches also continue to be targeted. Iraqi Christians have faced several bomb attacks, killings, abductions, torture and forced conversions to Islam ever since the U.S.-led liberation war began in 2003. Christians have not only been targeted for their faith by al Qaeda and related terror groups, but have also been caught in the crossfire of the Arab-Kurd and Shi'a-Sunni conflicts, which rose to new heights after the 2003 U.S. operations.