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Iraq: New report issued showcases the plight of Assyrian Christians

Persecution of Christians in Iraq: Clearly the Turkish government is using its military actions against the Kurds in Iraq to further its longstanding persecution of Christians. This persecution includes the ongoing discrimination against of and harassment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the remaining Christians of Turkey; the occupation and ethnic cleansing of northern Cyprus; the long imprisonment of the Protestant Pastor Andrew Brunson and other Christian leaders; and much more.

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, once again appeals to the United Nations and all nations that are concerned about human rights to do all they can to protect the Christians of Iraq and the Middle East in general, and to do all they can to bring an end to the unjust and illegal actions of the Turkish government.

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

“New Report Condemns Turkish Airstrikes Near Assyrians,” International Christian Concern, January 22, 2021:

01/22/2021 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – A new report issued by Assyrian Policy Institute showcases the plight of Assyrian Christians in Iraq struggling to survive as victims caught between Turkey and the terrorist organization PKK. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) operates primarily in southeastern Turkey, northeastern Syria and northern Iraq. As Turkey seeks to combat the PKK, they routinely order airstrikes and ground initiatives well into Iraq’s borders. It is here that Assyrians sustain serious attacks as innocent bystanders.

Official counts indicate that there were 52 airstrikes by Turkey in Assyrian-inhabited land, although the actual number is suspected to higher. Turkey, despite being a NATO member, has received international criticism for failing to take precautions to avoid civilian deaths and destruction of civilian territory. According to API, these airstrikes continue to force Assyrians off of their land and therefore severely restricting their livelihood. As primarily agricultural workers, Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq make the land uninhabitable for Assyrian Christians, further diminishing the number of Christians remaining in Iraq. API cited the Assyrian village of Chalik as an example, where the population decreased from 70 households to six in recent years.

…According to ICC’s report, Turkey fighting in northern Iraq entangles local Christians between two competing military groups. If Iraq’s Christians are to have any future, then it is essential that Turkey shows leadership in pursuing human rights for ethnic and religious minorities.

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