A report released by an English charity reveals Christianity in Iraq is on the fast track for extinction: The religion could be eliminated completely from the biblical heartland within five years.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACNUK) presented their report to the U.K. House of Lord's recently, igniting a renewed desire for religious safety in England.
"No believer should have to live in fear, and this is why (the British) government is committed to promoting religious freedom and tolerance at home and around the world," English Prime Minister David Cameron says. "It is also why the work of organizations such as Aid to the Church in Need is so crucial. This report serves as a voice for the voiceless, from their prison cells and the places far from home where they have sought refuge."
The number Christians fleeing for their lives from Middle Eastern nations—including Iraq, Pakistan and Syria—is escalating at a rate at which countries awarding refugee status cannot match. The Iraqi Christians, commonly called Assyrian Christians, are one of the most persecuted groups by the Islamic State.
In the United States, the Obama administration denied nearly two dozen Iraqi Christians religious asylum. These men and women face two options: Flee or suffer death at the hands of ISIS.
"It is genocide—and the world seems largely silent about it," says evangelist Franklin Graham. "Genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities of Syria and Iraq. And their methods are unimaginably cruel and heinous."
Charisma News previously reported that, according to the Pew Research Center in 2013, Christians were the largest group of immigrants to the U.S. However, the percentage of Christian immigrants dropped from 68 percent to 61 percent over a 10-year period. Meanwhile, the percentage of immigrating Muslims grew from 5 to 10 percent over that same time.
The Iraqi Christians are going through one of the worst periods in Christian history, according to the Philos Project, with an extensive lack of Western support.
According to the Gatesone Institute, though, Western nations are not just ignoring the Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East, they are actively supporting it by sponsoring "moderate" rebels who in reality are as "radical" and anti-Western as the Islamic State.
The Assyrian Christian plight is so uncertain, even the New York Times questions if the mass exodus is the end for Christianity in the Middle East.
''How much longer can we flee before we and other minorities become a story in a history book?'' Nuri Kino tells the NYT. Kino is a journalist and founder of the advocacy group Demand for Action.
Rev. Sargon Zoumaya echoes Kino's sentiments.
''We're afraid our whole society will vanish,'' Zoumaya says. ''It's too much pressure on us, more than we can handle."
And without an emergency intervention from the outside world, Zoumaya is right, according to ACUNK's report. Five years may be more time than these brothers and sisters have.
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