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Iraq: 4 aid workers with French charity Christians of the Middle East disappear in Baghdad

Persecution of Christians in Iraq: 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. And this story from Baghdad demonstrates how difficult it is for the Church in Iraq to rebuild: the four French citizens who have disappeared were members of a charity that seeks to “help Christian communities remain (in the region) and rebuild.” Those who are aiding Iraqi Christians, and Iraqi Christians, are still under a tremendous threat and in many cases unable to act freely as Christians.

We must pray that the extinction of Christianity in Iraq can by God’s grace and mercy be averted.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Iraq, click here.

“4 aid workers with French charity Christians of the Middle East disappear in Baghdad,” by Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post, January 29, 2020:

Four members of the French nongovernmental organization Christians of the Middle East, a charity that seeks to “help Christian communities remain (in the region) and rebuild,” have disappeared while working in Baghdad.

The four members of the charity went missing near the French embassy in the Iraqi capital on Jan. 20, Christians of the Middle East director Benjamin Blanchard said at a news conference in Paris on Friday, France 24 reports.

Three of the disappeared workers are French and one is Iraqi, he added. There have been no ransom demands, and the charity has asked that their identities remain concealed for security reasons.

The charity has been working with persecuted Christians in Iraq since 2014 when Islamic State jihadists seized the predominantly Christian province of Mosul, displacing tens of thousands. The group is also active in the Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil, where many Christians sought refuge.

The missing workers were in Baghdad “to renew their visas and register the association with Iraqi authorities,” Blanchard said, and were due to inspect the group’s activities in the city, including the opening of a new school.

They left their hotel by car for a meeting “which posed no problem,” Blanchard said, describing the men as “experienced staff members who have been working with us for years” and who had “perfect knowledge of conflict zones.”…

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