Violence escalates for Christians in Iraq

John Eibner, who heads a worldwide Christian human rights group, says although the U.S.-led military surge is reducing violence overall in Iraq, the situation for Christians is still tense and dangerous.

A Catholic archbishop was recently kidnapped in eastern Mosul, and his two bodyguards — who were both Christian — were shot and killed. This is the latest in a long line of violent acts targeting Christians throughout Iraq. Since the fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, more than 400,000 Christians have been forced to flee the country.

Dr. John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, encourages believers in the U.S. to call on the government to ensure that Christians in Iraq are protected. “We have a special responsibility because we are in a position to make a difference,” says Eibner. “It’s now or never, and we have to pull out all stops if we’re going to fulfill our obligations as members of the body of Christ, to help the other parts of the body that are suffering.”

Christians are not simply caught in the middle of the crossfire, notes Eibner, but are actually targeted for death, and are also discriminated against on a regular basis. He says some Christians even receive letters that demand they convert to Islam or face death.

Eibner believes as long as U.S.-led forces are still in the country, it is the responsibility of the United States to ensure that Christians and other religious minorities are safe.