By Dan Wooding/dimanche 8 juillet 2007, par Journalchretien.net
Caldwell quoted a letter sent to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth II, which said, â€œIraqi Christians have been targeted by a wave of attacks on their persons, churches, monasteries, homes and businesses,â€ The letter went on to say that Iraqi Christians expected their government to ensure their â€œsafety, security and justice.â€
The letter stated that since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, there had been â€œthousands of attacksâ€ on the countryâ€™s Christian minority. It also said Christians in Baghdad were being made to choose between converting to Islam, paying high taxes or leaving their homes.
â€œTerrors are being incited by a number of imams in the mosques and other fanatics against the â€˜Christian infidels,â€™â€ the letter said.
â€œThe developments that follow will be even more serious,â€ it said. â€œWe ask the United Nations, all peace-loving governments, human rights organizations and individuals to help the Christians of Iraq.
â€œThe reprehensible failure of Iraq to guarantee religious freedom, justice and accountability toward Christians simply amounts to an invitation to continue the same in the future,â€ it added.
The letter was signed by Syrian Orthodox Bishop Toma Dawod, Father Stephen Turkhan of the Assyrian Church of the East, Father Habib Jajou al-Noufaly of the Chaldean Catholic Mission, the Rev. Khoshaba Georges of the Ancient Church of the East and Father Nizar Semaan of the Syrian Catholic Mission. It was dated June 6 but was made public June 20 by Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity helping persecuted Christians around the world.
Caldwell added that Father Jajou told the charity that Christians were fleeing Iraq at the rate of 50,000 a month.
â€œAt this rate, there will be no Christians at all in Baghdad, Mosul or Basra a decade from now,â€ said the priest. â€œThe situation is very, very miserable.â€
Caldwellâ€™s story concluded : â€œFigures from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees revealed last year that about 44 percent of Iraqi refugees are Christian, although Christians account for just 4 percent of the total population of Iraq.â€