As militants tear through Iraq, Christians are being forced out of their homes to escape the violence.
Newsweek reports that the Christian population in Iraq has dropped dramatically from 1.5 million in 2003 to 400,000 today; Christians started leaving the country when the United States invaded.
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako said, “The next days will be very bad. If the situation does not change, Christians will be left with just a symbolic presence in Iraq. If they leave, their history is finished."
Last month, Sunni militants overtook the city of Mosul, sending Christians running for their lives. Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Youssif Mirkis said that several hundred more have been fleeing the “safer” city of Kirkuk every day.
"Our presence was a symbol of peace, but there's so much panic and few Christians see their future in Iraq," Mirkis said.
Most recently, two nuns and three children in Mosul were kidnapped by militants on July 7; churches have since closed their doors for protection.
Publication date: July 11, 2014