Saturday, August 26, 2006

End of Christianity in Iraq?

For The Assyrians, who are both Christian and the indigenous people of Iraq, the aftermath of Iraq's "liberation" has been downright catastrophic

Pray for the safety and security of the Assyrian Christian community. Pray for approval of applications and requests for a separate Assyrian Christian jurisdiction within Iraq. Ask the Lord to arrange for this region to be administered and governed by Assyrians of Iraq.

(Assyrian International News Agency, 8/6/06) Iraq is rapidly becoming a nation of refugees. Sunnis and other minorities are leaving the south, while Shiites have been fleeing the areas around Baghdad and the north. For both the Sunni and Shia civilians caught in this cauldron of violence, the situation is tragic beyond description. However, as bad as things have been for Muslim Iraqis, for one vulnerable group of Iraqis, life inside "free Iraq" has been even more difficult.

For the Assyrians, who are both Christian and the indigenous people of Iraq, the aftermath of Iraq's "liberation" has been downright catastrophic.The Assyrian Christian population of Iraq has been brutalized by both ethnic and religious attacks since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Glyn Ford, a UK Labor member of the European Parliament and member of the "Save the Assyrians" campaign, recently laid out a litany of woe that has befallen the Assyrians. Ford reports that torture, kidnapping, extortion, harassment, church bombings, forced religious conversion, political disenfranchisement and property destruction are just some of the deliberate human rights violations that are both ruining and taking the lives of Assyrians in Iraq.

The President of "Save the Assyrians," Andy Darmoo, told a news conference in New York, "Today, the situation is the worst we have ever lived in Iraq."

While international groups such as the European Parliament have issued declarations and resolutions of support, the actual power in Iraq, the United States, appears to have already relegated the Assyrians to the dustbin of history. Unless the American people themselves choose to demand a policy reversal, it is unlikely that the Bush Administration will become interested in the fate of Iraqi Christians on its own accord.