The Christian population in Iraq has now diminished to an alarming 50,000 to 250,000, compared with 1.4 million in 2003. They were either massacred by jihadists or abducted.
Christians have faced being forced to convert to Islam, pay a high living tax (jizya, mandated in the Qur’an) to the Islamic State, or abandon their ancestral homes. Many were enslaved or murdered.
Reverend Canon Andrew White, (aka “The Vicar of Baghdad”) known for his love of humanity, stated of Islamic State jihadists: “When I invited ISIL to dinner they said, ‘Yes, we’ll come, but we’ll chop off your head.’ Rather kind of them to warn me.”
The gentle and kind Reverend White, whom I have personally interviewed many times, has witnessed the worst atrocities on the ground against his fellow Christians, minorities and Yazidi girls who are taken as sex slaves, and he finally declared:
“I have looked through the Quran trying to find forgiveness… there isn’t any. If you find it, tell me. This makes it very difficult to talk to ISIS because they can show you quite clearly that it is what Allah wants. They can justify their position when Allah says you should combat and fight the infidel and they say, ‘Well, these are infidels.’ So the question is, how can you prove that these are not infidels? And you can’t.”
“Christian Iraqi Population Shrinking; Persecution ‘Worse Than Under Saddam Hussein’”, by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, June 5, 2016:
A human rights group has warned that minorities in Iraq, including Christians, are facing a “catastrophic” reality with tens of thousands of people murdered or abducted by terror groups.
“The impact on minorities has been catastrophic. Saddam [Hussein] was terrible; the situation since is worse. Tens of thousands of minorities have been killed and millions have fled for their lives,” said Mark Lattimer, head of Minority Rights Group, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The Christian population was as many as 1.4 million in Iraq back in 2003 during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, but that number has dwindled since. In October 2015, Aid to the Church in Need said that only 300,000 Christians were left, but MRG says that number is now down further to somewhere between 50,000 to 250,000.
Iraq’s minorities suffered in various ways under the decades-long dictatorship of Hussein, but the human rights group insisted that things have only been getting worse in the 13 years of warfare since the U.S. military campaign toppled the regime.
Persecution of Christians and other minorities has especially escalated since the summer of 2014 with the rise of the Islamic State terror group, which has captured several cities in Iraq, including ones with formerly notable Christian populations, such as Mosul.
Iraqi Christians have been forced to choose between converting to Islam, paying a high living tax to the terror group, or abandoning their ancestral homes – with many enslaved or killed.
The Yazidi, Turkmen, Shabak, and Kaka’i minorities have also faced significant persecution with the rise of IS, MRG said….