Report: 1,960 Christians killed in Iraq since 2003 invasion

Baghdad – Some 1,960 Iraqi Christians have been killed by violence in the country since the US-led invasion in 2003, a local religious group said Saturday.

According to the Chaldean Cultural Association for Peace in Iraq, the number of Christians in the Arab state has decreased dramatically, estimating that only a quarter of the 2.1 million who lived there before the war still remain.

Other estimates have placed the number of Christian residents slightly higher, but also say the figure has at least halved.

‘Christians in Iraq are going through miserable conditions,’ Hawal Ziqiya Masho, with the religious group, was quoted by the Voices of Iraq news agency as saying the day after Christmas.

Earlier this week, a bombing near two churches in the northern of Mosul killed two people and injured five others, while damaging the buildings.

Six people were also injured on Friday in clashes between Iraq’s Christian and Shabak minorities near a church in the northern Iraqi town of Bartala, witnesses said.

Shabak residents, who are Shiite Muslims, and Christians fought near the town’s church after the Christmas service, following accusations that the Christians had torn down a poster of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Hussein, near the church.

Security officials intervened to restore order.

Mosul and its environs are among the most ethnically and religiously diverse areas in Iraq, and among the most dangerous.

Nearly seven years after the US-led invasion of the city, residents of all ethnicities continue to die in near-daily bombings and shootings in and around the city.