War on Iraq

No End in Sight to Anti-Christian Violence in Mosul

Thousands of families have fled following threats from unidentified groups. At least 14 Christians have been killed.
The measures the government has taken so far have failed to put an end to the exodus of Christians from the northern city of Mosul.

Thousands of Christian families have fled the city following threats from unidentified groups. So far 14 Christians have been killed in the city.

Some Iraqi politicians and media have raised questions on the timing and scale of the anti-Christian campaign in a city traditionally known for its tolerance.

There are no exact figures on the numbers of Christians in Mosul but for centuries the city has been one of Christianity’s main centers in Iraq with scores of churches and monasteries some of them of great antiquity.

Iraqi Christian monks are reported to have fled the Monastery of Mar Gerwargees, the last inhabited abode in the city of an ancient order which traces its roots to the Persian Christian Saint Hormuz who was killed centuries before the birth of Islam.

There are no clear answers to who is behind the campaign to force the Christians to flee. Some local media reports, quoting government officials, blame Kurdish militias which control Mosul's left bank which has been emptied of its Christian population.

Tens of thousands of Christians from Mosul and its suburbs demonstrated when Iraqi parliament last month removed a paragraph from the constitutional which allowed Iraqi Christians and other minorities a set of seats in provincial councils.

Kurdish deputies in the parliament spearheaded the move to have the paragraph removed.

Analysts say the Kurds were shocked by Christian protests.
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