Gatestone Institute | Oct. 28, 2018
“Another wave of persecution will be the end of Christianity after 2,000 years” in Iraq, an Iraqi Christian leader recently said. In an interview earlier this month, Chaldean Archbishop Habib Nafali of Basra discussed how more than a decade of violent persecution has virtually annihilated Iraq’s Christian minority. Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, the Christian population has dropped from 1.5 million to about 250,000 — a reduction of 85%. During those 15 years, Christians have been abducted, enslaved, raped and slaughtered, sometimes by crucifixion; a church or monastery has been destroyed about every 40 days on average, said the archbishop.
While it is often assumed that the Islamic State (ISIS) was the source of the persecution, since that terror group’s retreat from Iraq, the situation for Christians has barely improved. As the archbishop said, Christians continue to suffer from “systematic violence” designed to “destroy their language, to break up their families and push them to leave Iraq.”