Monday, December 05, 2011

Christians Fear Sectarian Violence From "Arab Spring"

In an lengthy article today titled An 'Arab Winter' Chills Christians, the Wall Street Journal reports that at least 54 Iraqi Christian churches have been bombed and at least 905 Christians have been killed in sectarian violence since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Many Christians have fled. The Christian population is down to 500,000 from an estimated 800,000 to 1.4 million in 2003.  Summarizing its findings, the Journal concludes:
With the Arab Spring now bringing political turbulence to many other countries in the region, Christians throughout the Middle East are worried that what happened in Iraq may be a harbinger of misfortune to come in their own communities. While many remain supporters of the uprisings, others fear that the toppling of their autocratic rulers could uncork sectarian violence against Christians and other minority groups in their own nations.
In a related development, last week, Minority Rights Group International released a report titled Iraq Minorities: Participation in Public Life.