Barack Obama wants answers. He wants to know what the State Department is doing in coordination with the Iraqi Government to protect Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq. The Brody File has a copy of the letter Senator Obama sent to Secretary State Condoleezza Rice. You can read it here.
The percentage of Christians living in Iraq is low (about 4 percent or so) but they have come under persecution. Read below from Nina Shea, a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent government agency:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice argues that reducing violence will help all Iraqis, but non-Muslims may have been purged from Iraq by the time the dust settles. It could already be too late for the Mandeans, followers of John the Baptist who have roots in ancient Babylon. A spokesman of the sect told the commission that only 5,000 Mandeans remain.
Priests have been beheaded; churches bombed; unveiled women burned with acid; men killed for operating theaters and barbershops; children murdered for wearing jeans, for mingling with the opposite sex or simply for being seen as symbolizing the infidels in some way. Criminals find members of religious minorities to be easy prey. During the buildup of U.S. forces this spring, a Sunni mosque in Baghdad’s Dora neighborhood issued a fatwa demanding that local Christians convert to Islam or pay an Islamic tax; thousands fled.
Read Senator Barack Obamas letter to Condoleezza Rice about the ethnical cleansing : barack_obama.pdf