#912 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 22 Jun 2014.
Iraqi Christians have come under fire, and many have fled their homes, as a campaign by Islamic militants this week spilled over from Syria into Iraq’s northern cities.
Local reports suggest soldiers, police and government officials captured by militants have been summarily executed, as have some Chaldean Catholics.
Nina Shea, writing in National Review Online, said the situation in northern Iraq showed the religious cleansing of Christians from Iraq was entering the end game. She said international observers overlook the fact that religious pluralism and diversity are among today’s casualties.
Since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, nearly one million Christians have left the country. An estimated 500,000 remained in the northern portion of the country among the Chaldean Catholic community, but most have now fled.
Previously they sought refuge in Syria, but this is no longer an option due to civil war. The situation is dire. God have mercy.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.