Open Doors (www.opendoorsuk.org), the United Kingdom (UK) based Christian advocacy group has once again initiated a new advocacy campaign in Iraqi as tens of thousands of Christians are reported to have fled the country since last October’s devastating bomb attack on a church in Baghdad.
This revelation is contained in a release by the organization noting that devastating bomb attack claimed the life of at least 58 people, while over 60 were injured.
Speaking on this latest development, an Iraqi Christian in Baghdad, Bari, stated: "Many Iraqi Christians feel they have no future left in the country. Churches in Baghdad are reported to be almost empty, with senior Christian clergymen fearing that Iraq is on its way to losing its Christian minority.”
He noted that Baghdad is the last remaining city with a sizeable Christian community, but thousands are said to have fled the latest upsurge in anti-Christian violence adding that Mosul, the other city with a large Christian minority, is so violent that one of the city’s archbishops declared that it had become dangerous for Christians to stay.
"Mosul was the city of churches, but many have been abandoned, turned into police stations or inhabited by squatters. Many Christians have fled to Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq,” he also stated.
Bari observed that their meager resources mean that it is not easy for them to make ends meet. "Rents are extremely high and commodity prices more expensive than in other parts of Iraq."
An Open Doors worker Steve said that his organization is helping these displaced Christians to start a new life through income-generating loans to start small businesses or agricultural enterprises.
He observed that health clinics, medical aid and housing projects are providing help to those most in need, while orphans are being looked after in children’s homes, where they receive trauma counseling and discipleship training.
“Some families are also fleeing to Syria, Jordan or Turkey. We have to stop this exodus, otherwise there will be no church or Christian activity in a few years time in Iraq, and that will be a disaster. Let us pray for the Christians in Iraq,” Steve further stated.
He called for action to all Christians to send an email to the Iraqi Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr, asking that he prioritizes the immediate protection of Christians and helps guarantee their safety adding that Christians feel that the current Iraqi government has failed to ensure their security, and they need you to speak up on their behalf.