New violence forces Christians to flee Iraq

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Washington, Dec 13 (ANI): Thousands of Iraqi Christians have reportedly fled abroad or to northern parts of the country amid a campaign of violence against them and growing fear that the country's security forces are unable or unwilling to protect them.

On October 31, a siege at a church in Baghdad killed 51 worshipers and 2 priests and a subsequent series of bombings and assassinations singling out Christians.

According to The Guardian, it threatens to reduce further what Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East called "a community whose roots were in Iraq even before Christ."

Those who fled have warned that the latest violence presages the demise of the faith in Iraq. Several evoked the mass departure of Iraq's Jews after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.

"It's exactly what happened to the Jews. They want us all to go." The paper quoted a Christian inhabitant of Dora who fled last month to the Kurdish capital with his family.

Christians are not the only victims of the bloodshed that has swept Iraq for more than seven and a half years. Sunni and Shiite Arabs have died on a far greater scale, the paper said.

Only two days after the attack on the church, a dozen bombs tore through Sunni and Shiite neighbourhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 68 people and wounding hundreds. (ANI)

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