Some of the oldest Christian communities in the world are found in Iraq. And they are vanishing.
In 1987 there were an estimated 1.4 million Christians in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was guilty of many crimes and sins, but persecution of Christians was not among them. Christians could practice their religion openly and safely in Iraq, unlike most Islamic countries. There were even Christians in Saddam’s executive cabinet.
But now, in supposedly democratic Iraq, the Christian population is being wiped out. Christians are being murdered, and their churches are being destroyed, targeted by Islamic extremists, who are now unchecked by a powerful secular government. Over half the Christians who were living in Iraq when the U.S. invasion occurred, have now fled the country.
Over the last month, at least seven Christian churches in Baghdad have been destroyed by bombings, in which many people have been killed. Last October thousands of Christians fled Mosul after at least 14 were murdered by extremists who demanded that they all convert to Islam, or be killed.
As one Iraqi Christian recently told an American reporter, “Soon there will be no Christians left in Iraq.”
Over 4,000 American soldiers have given their lives to bring democracy to Iraq. Many thousands more have been wounded. Tens of thousands have been separated from their families for a year or more at a time. The U.S. taxpayers have spent or borrowed trillions of dollars to fund this war.
The consitution of the new democratic Iraq, installed at the price of American lives, makes Islam the nation’s official religion, and provides that no law is valid if it does not agree with Islam.
And with “democracy,” paid for with the blood and treasure of America, comes the end of Christianity in Iraq.