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Former Iraqi lawmaker says number of Christians leaving Iraq rising

After years of strife, by 2014 it was reported that 90% of the Orthodox Christians of the nation had been displaced. Most of them are still refugees and have been unable to return home. Still others who remained are leaving now. The tragedy of this cannot be overstated. Mosul and its environs were home for centuries to a Christian community that dated back to apostolic times. We must pray now that the extinction of Christianity in the area can by God’s grace and mercy be averted.

“Former Iraqi lawmaker says number of Christians leaving Iraq rising,” by Hiwa Shilani, Kurdistan 24, August 4, 2019:

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Christian population in Iraq continues to decrease as the religious minority continually looks for opportunities to escape discrimination in the country, an official announced on Sunday.

Joseph Slewa, a former Iraqi lawmaker in the Christian bloc, said in a statement that Iraq’s Christians continue to leave Iraq permanently because they believe immigration is their only option.

“In 1980, 1.8 million Christians lived in Iraq; however, unconfirmed data in 2014 showed that only 400,000 Christians remain in Iraq,” Slewa stated.

When the so-called Islamic State emerged in Iraq in 2014, the Christian population was forced to take refuge in the Kurdistan Region or immigrate abroad to escape religious extremism and political instability….

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