Many of the refugees who arrived at Hanover airport were single mothers and their children as well as a number of sick people. One child was quickly taken away to receive medical attention, reports the International Herald Tribune.
The EU has pledged to take in around 10,000 refugees from Iraq, many of whom are Christians or from other religious minorities. Germany is expected to take in 2,500 people. The UK, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have also pledged to accept refugees.
Christians in Iraq have faced severe persecution following the invasion of Iraq six years ago. They are often targeted by Islamic militants or criminals who regard them as being in league with occupation forces. It is often also assumed that Christians have rich relatives in the West and as a result they are often targeted for kidnappings in order to get large ransoms.
There are currently around two million refugees from Iraq living in Jordan and Syria. An Iraqi minister previously said that Iraqi Christians should remain in the country to to help rebuild in spite of the frequent attacks by Islamic extremists and criminals.
Last year, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was kidnapped and murdered by al-Qaeda. In October 15,000 Christians fled the city of Mosul after a spate of murders were committed against Christians. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights nearly half of all refugees leaving Iraq are Christian, even though Christianity is the religion of only three per cent of Iraqis.