.- A report published by the International Commission on Religious Freedom reveals that half of the Christian population that lives in Baghdad has fled to other regions or countries because of the chaos and sectarian violence that plagues the Iraqi capital.
According to the Commission, as many as 50% may have already fled the country.
The Associated Press reported on the case of Iraqi Christian leader Farouq Mansour, who was kidnapped two months by Al Qaeda. Terrorists demanded his family convert to Islam or pay a ransom of $30,000.
After the ransom was paid, Mansour went to Syria with part of the Iraqi Christian minority. âThere is no future for us in Iraq,â Mansour said.
âAlthough Islamic extremists have targeted Iraqi Christians before, bombing churches and threatening religious leaders, the latest attacks have taken on a far more personal tone. Many Christians are being expelled from their homes and forced to leave their possessions behind,â the AP reported.
The Christian community here, about 3 percent of the country's 26 million people, has little political or military clout to defend itself, and some Islamic insurgents call Christians "crusaders" whose real loyalty lies with U.S. troops.
According to the report, "These groups face widespread violence from Sunni insurgents and foreign jihadists, and they also suffer pervasive discrimination and marginalization at the hands of the national government, regional governments, and para-state militias.â