March 23, 2012
The Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Matthew in Baghdad was one of the targets in a string of bombings by Iraqi Muslim extremists Tuesday that killed at least 52, the Christian Post reports. More than 30 bombs were detonated across several cities and towns, injuring an estimated 250 people -- Iraq's bloodiest day in nearly a month. "The goal of [the] attacks was to present a negative image of the security situation in Iraq," a government spokesman said. Army and police forces are frequently targeted in Iraq, where bombings and shootings occur almost daily, and the waning Christian minority has found itself not only caught in the crossfire, but specifically targeted. Increasing persecution, growing even worse since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December, has reportedly led hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians to flee the country, and the remaining population is believed to be diminishing.