By: Mark Leon Goldberg , before the US invasion of Iraq, there were an estimated 1.2 million Christians living there. Today, that number is less than 250,000 — an eighty percent drop in less than two decades.
If this trend continues, a religious minority that has been in Iraq for centuries will be gone entirely. A recent article in The Atlantic by reporter Emma Green describes the plight of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic community and the incredible pressure that they have been under since the fall of Saddam. This not only includes ISIS’s reign of terror, but day-to-day discrimination against Christians that is causing so many to seek to leave the country. Emma Green is a staff writer at The Atlantic covering policy, politics and religion. We kick off discussing the history of Christianity before having a broader conversation about the causes and consequences of the fact that a religious minority is fleeing Iraq in droves. The plight of Iraq’s Christians has key geo-political consequences as well as serving as an indicator of the healthiness and strength of Iraqi democracy itself. This conversation explains why what happens to Christians in Iraq matters to the entire world. If you have 20 minutes and want to learn why the persecution of Christians in Iraq has global implications, have a listen.