Thursday, May 14, 2009

Iraqi Christians escaping their country in large numbers

Iraq has lost more than half the Christians who once called it home, mostly since the war began, and few who fled have plans to return, The Associated Press has learned.

Pope Benedict XVI called attention to their plight during a Mideast visit this week, urging the international community to ensure the survival of "the ancient Christian community of that noble land."

The number of Arab Christians has plummeted across the Mideast in recent years as increasing numbers seek to move to the West, saying they feel increasingly unwelcome in the Middle East and want a better life abroad.

But the exodus has been particularly stark in Iraq — where sectarian violence since the U.S.-led 2003 invasion has often targeted Christians. MORE HERE

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