Cultural Revolutions

Becoming Extinct

Iraq's Christians may be on their way to extinction, thanks to the Bush administration’s decision to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime.  Today, Iraq’s mostly Catholic and Orthodox Christians are fleeing the country, with their destination of choice being, ironically, Syria, another target for “regime change” on the neoconservative hit list.

More than two years ago, Chronicles readers were made aware of the threat to Iraq’s Christians posed by the Bush administration’s determination to overturn Saddam’s regime: As the White House geared up for war, this author wrote that the administration seemed “willing to sacrifice” Iraq’s Christians in order to bring down Saddam.  There was widespread apprehension among Iraqi Christians at the time.  War and the end of the Ba’ath regime in Baghdad might well, many Iraqi Christians warned, unleash the Islamic forces that Saddam had largely held in check.  In fact, the secular Ba’ath regime was hated by the Islamists, including Osama bin Laden, in part because of its relative tolerance toward the Christian community.  With the political brakes off, the warnings of Islamic attacks on the country’s 800,000 Christians came true, and the attacks appear to be escalating.

In August 2004, five churches in Baghdad and four in Mosul were attacked on the same day.  The attacks...

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