Thousands protest in Belgium after string of killings and attacks against Christians in Iraq

BRUSSELS (AP) – Several thousand people from across Europe have protested in Brussels against a recent escalation of violence against Christians in Iraq, while hundreds more marched in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Suleyman Gultekin of the European Syriac Union, which organized the Brussels march, said the demonstrators wanted their “voice to be heard by the European community” as Christians in Iraq are being “attacked systematically”.

Gunmen stormed a church service in Baghdad on Oct. 31, killing 68 people. On Wednesday, five people were killed in more than a dozen bombings and mortar attacks targeting Christian families there.

In Austria’s capital Saturday, hundreds of people demonstrated against the killings. Organizers say 3,000 people participated in the protest in central Vienna. Police put the number at around 800.