PARIS (AP) â€” France says it plans to give refuge to nearly 500 Iraqi Christians, particularly from the Chaldean Catholic church.
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed the plans in a joint television and radio interview Wednesday. He said he hoped the Iraqis will be in France within weeks.
He said France would not refuse to also grant asylum to Muslims. But he said “no one” is taking in Iraqi Christians and noted that Paris has a community of Chaldeans.
Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians have been targeted by Islamic extremists. The Chaldean church is an Eastern-rite denomination aligned with the Roman Catholic Church that recognizes the authority of the pope