The Spanish newspaper “La Razon” published a remarkable report this week claiming that terrorists from Al Qaeda now have their sights set on Iraqi Christian children, who are being threatened with death in order to get them to convert to Islam.
According to correspondent Fernando Perez Barber, who filed his report from Baghdad, “the international Islamic criminal group, Al Qaeda, is proposing to ‘use dynamite’ to force Christians out of Iraq.”
“Such is the frequency and reach of the attacks, kidnappings and briberies that it is no longer possible to continue to deny that the ‘Jihadists’ of Al Qaeda have made Chaldean-Assyrian Christians their targets of choice. In their impromptu meetings after religious services, the faithful have begun to realize that the Christian community is boxed in.”
The radicals have succeeded in terrorizing Christians through the “destruction of Christian-owned distilleries, the selective assassination of alcoholic beverage vendors, the threatening of women who do not wear the veil, and lastly, through the bombing of churches.”
Perez Barber recalled that towards the end of last year, terrorists left a bag of grenades in an elementary school in Mosul with a note that read, “Convert to Islam or you will be killed.”
Today, “some schools and many Chaldean-Assyrian churches have been under armed military guard ever since the threats started to give way to actual attacks.”
Nevertheless, he warned that neither the local police forces nor the US military has been able to prevent attacks on Christians from taking place.
“Over a dozen monasteries, churches and convents have been the object of attacks since last Christmas,” Perez Barber said. Last weekend, five churches in Baghdad were damaged, fewer people dare to attend religious services, and “hundreds of families have been forced to sell their belongings” and flee the country.
Pérez Barber says that “since the end of the Gulf War up to the US-lead invasion, the Christian population in the country has fallen to less than half of what it was, leaving it at around 800,000. And that number has continued to fall since the allied troops have occupied the country.”