One of the little heard of outcomes of the invasion of Iraq is the desolation of the Christian communities there. All those good, God fearing American citizens who have championed the war in order to protect their own skin and material stuff hardly lift a pinky of concern for the tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians who have been killed, attacked, driven into exile, and now live in fear of their lives and destitution.
Christian communities have existed in Iraq from the very beginning. It is ironic that Saddam made sure that they were able to exist and worship in relative freedom and security. I don’t think that Iraqi’s were better under Saddam by any means, but for the most part existence was easier for them then, than now. Christians now live in constant fear – and it is a result of what we have done. What a great thing we have accomplished, eh?
Here is part of an interview by the BBC with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, during his travels in the Middle East:
Q: Help me understand Archbishop, why these Christians, these exiles from Iraq have been targeted?
A: Since the Iraq war, Christian communities in Iraq which have lived there for literally thousands of years have been seen as, in some sense, agents of the West. People described how the sort of notes that were pushed under their door, the messages and threats they received said â€˜you are American agentsâ€™ or â€˜you are Zionist agents and weâ€™re going to have to get rid of you.â€™ So thereâ€™s a very clear link in peopleâ€™s minds with the conflict.
Q: That link is a causal link in effect and I donâ€™t want to put words into your mouth. Britain and America invaded Iraq and therefore these Iraqi Christians are suffering. Is that a link that you would make?
A: Iâ€™m afraid itâ€™s a very clear link. This is the link thatâ€™s made locally and whether justly or not, that is how itâ€™s seen. Now, as I say, these are Christians whoâ€™ve lived in that society for generations, theyâ€™re not newcomers, theyâ€™re not aliens. Certain – Iâ€™m happy to say small – extremist groups regard them as aliens, it suits their own political agenda. But these are groups with no scruples and with considerable resources.