January 7, 2011
Persecution of Christians soars in Iraq
by Jan Harris
Iraq is now the eighth most dangerous place in the world for Christians, according to the World Watch list produced by Christian charity Open Doors.
The new ranking reflects the increasing violence against Christians in Iraq, which was placed at number 17 in the list last year.
Recent attacks include the massacre in a Baghdad church in October, in which 58 people died.
Open Doors claims that at least 90 Christians were killed in Iraq last year, many of them while sitting peacefully in their own homes.
North Korea remained at the top of the World Watch List, followed by Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Laos.
The increase in persecution in Iraq has led to hundreds of Christian families trying to leave the country, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
It is believed that the number of Iraqi Christians has halved, with the group now accounting for just 3 per cent of the population.
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