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By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
November 4, 2010

At least 62 Iraqi Christians were killed and over 60 wounded on Sunday in a terrorist inspired bloodbath at Baghdad's Our Lady of Deliverance Catholic Church. U.S. special forces troops, together with Iraqi security forces, launched a deadly attempt to free the Christian being held hostage by the terrorist captors.

The Al Qaeda-linked "Islamic State of Iraq" claimed responsibility and threatened to "exterminate Iraqi Christians." This shadowy jihad terror network justified the savagery on religious grounds, claiming that the church was an "obscene nest of the polytheists [infidels]" and a "base for their struggle against the religion of Islam."

Since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, more than half the country's Christian population has been forced by targeted violence to seek refuge abroad or to live away from their homes as internally displaced people.

According to the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, over 700 Christians, including bishops and priests, have been killed and 61 churches have been bombed.

Last year, this writer reported that after weeks of violence against Iraqi Christians, many churches closed their doors on Christmas and hosted only a few guests for late-afternoon Christmas Eve masses.

According to the Pentagon, the majority of attacks against Christians have occurred in Mosul, including three car bombings that have occurred in the past two weeks. In late 2008, hundreds of Christians fled the city after attacks.

Either intentionally or unintentionally, United States news media outlets are ignoring the violence perpetrated by Muslims against Christians in Iraq.

While some believe this stems from the fact that reporters have moved on to stories other than US operations in Iraq, others believe this lack of coverage has more to do with the anti-Christian bias that exists within the media. The current Muslim-on-Christian violence does not fit the media template — Christian bigotry against Islam.

Provincial police representatives in Iraq's Kirkuk province met on May 4 with Christian leaders in Kirkuk city to address concerns about increased violence against Kirkuk's Christian minority, according to Justin Naylor of the American Forces Press Office.

Only about 3 percent of Iraq's total population — about 800,000 Iraqis — are Christian.

"Anyone that targets you, targets us also," said Major General Assam Turhan, the Kirkuk city deputy police chief, a Kurdish Muslim.

Two attacks on April 26 left three Christian residents of Kirkuk dead and two others injured, the third series of attacks targeting Christians in the city in recent months.

"Our history has always coincided with yours," Turhan said at the meeting.

Following the attack, Iraqi police began visiting Christians in their homes to reassure them of police presence and to create lines of communication that the Christians could use in case of emergencies.


Unlike in the aftermath of attacks in the past, Christians did not flee the city this time, Turhan said. For some, he added, the attacks only redoubled their determination to stay and prove that they will not be frightened away.

"We feel safe here, and we are planning on staying," one Christian told Turhan.

A Christian representative at the meeting commended the police's efforts to protect them. "We have received great support from the [police], and they responded to the attacks well," he said.

Christian neighborhoods and churches are receiving special attention and extra security to prevent further bloodshed, police officials said.

Following the attacks, police operations surged and three suspects believed to be involved in the murders were arrested.


Seven years after the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk reports: "He who is not a Muslim in Iraq is a second-class citizen. Often it is necessary to convert or emigrate, otherwise one risks being killed."

"This anti-Christian violence," Dr. John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International reminded Obama, "is sustained by a widespread culture of Muslim supremacism that extends far beyond those who pull the triggers and detonate the bombs."

Eibner also asked President Obama to act in harmony with House Resolution 944 by instructing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to present Congress with a "comprehensive strategy to encourage the protection of the rights of members of vulnerable religious and ethnic minority communities in Iraq."

Just over two years ago, during the 2008 Presidential campaign, then Sen. Obama wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on account of the "heavy price" paid by Iraq's Christians and other religious minorities, requesting answers to a set of questions, among them.

"What specific steps has the State Department taken to urge the Iraqi government to provide protection to Iraq's Christian and other non-Muslim religious minorities? Has the Iraqi government been responsive to requests for such protection? What is the U.S. government's assessment of the Iraqi government's efforts to protect religious minority communities?" (Sen. Obama to Secretary Rice, September 26, 2008.)

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Eibner concluded by requesting the U.S. President to spare no effort to ensure that American and Iraqi security forces provide the same level of security to Iraq's endangered Christian community as has been long provided for America's Muslim population.

"Anything even remotely considered a slight by the U.S. against Muslims is quickly addressed by the Obama administration. Is it asking too much for that response to violence perpetrated against Christians?" asked former police detective and Marine Mike Snopes.

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Since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, more than half the country's Christian population has been forced by targeted violence to seek refuge abroad or to live away from their homes as internally displaced people.