Christians still under fire in Iraq as jihadists identify them as unbelievers at war with Islam, and continue to impose Sharia upon the country. From the TimesOnline, with thanks to Twostellas:
IRAQIS gathered for Christmas behind Kalashnikovs yesterday. Midnight Mass was cancelled because of bombing fears and curfews, but the country”s rapidly dwindling Christian minority turned out in their thousands for early morning services.
Protected under Saddam, Christians once numbered between 600,000 and 700,000 in Iraq, but church officials say that about half have now fled, especially from the south, where militias linked to Iraq’s ruling parties have waged a three-year campaign to Islamise the country at gunpoint.
The worst attacks were by insurgents in central and northern Iraq in August last year, when bomb attacks on four churches in Baghdad and one in Mosul killed a dozen Christians during Sunday services.
Priests have been threatened and killed, women abused in the street for not wearing veils and three months ago the entire lay leadership of Iraq’s main Anglican church were ambushed and killed.
Despite the fears of insurgent bombings and Islamist intolerance, congregations turned out in greater numbers yesterday than last year. “We are now back to the numbers of three years ago. People now want to go to church to keep challenging these people, we are defiant,” said Faadi Victor, a lay official at Our Lady of Salvation, a Catholic church that was hit by one of the August 2004 bombs.
More power to you, Faadi.