Iraq must ensure Christians return

Gulf News

Despite the lull in violence in Iraq, Christians continue to leave the country in large numbers. Aid groups report “an influx” of Iraqi Christians who “have been pouring into Lebanon.”

The trend started a few months ago when the Christians were being targeted in the north of Iraq by extremist groups. But the violence seems to have stopped after the government sent in thousands of troops to protect the minority community.

It is true that those who left their country are finding a safe haven in Lebanon, where the majority of Arab Christians outside Egypt live, but this is a great loss for Iraq.

Iraq cannot be rebuilt as long as the Christians don’t feel safe in their homes. They are not a marginal community. They are a genuine part of the mosaic that has made Iraq a multicultural centre of learning and development in the Arab world for centuries.

The Iraqi government must make the return of the Christians to their country a priority