Investigative Reports: The Triangle of Violence, Despair and the Rise of Extremism Threaten Iraq of Losing its Christians Within a Decade

The Triangle of Violence, Despair and the Rise of Extremism Threaten Iraq of Losing its Christians Within a Decade

By: Basim Francis Hanna

Al-Hayat Newspaper, August 13, 2013

To Australia, the final destination of those who survived of his brothers and relatives, the forty-year old Christian Rafael Aisho  leaves this summer, taking with him his family and whatever he could collect after liquidating the assets and properties of the family in Baghdad and Kurdistan region. Rafael believes for sure that his ties with Iraq, the homeland of his ancestors has come to an end completely since he found last year the corpses of his parents, torn to pieces, with crosses being drawn by knives on their chests.

Four months before that, Rafael has found the body of his brother Admon thrown in a garbage dumpin al-Doura district, South of Baghdad.

Unlike Rafael’s parents and brother, the young Christian SaadTuma, managed to survive his kidnappers Winter 2008, and now he and his family are getting ready to pack their luggage so as to leave Iraq for good, joining about 70.000 Christian who immigrated from Iraq within the last ten years due to continuous and repeated attacks targeting the Christians, which includes kidnapping, torturing, shooting them with fire or beheading them, let alone blasting tens of Churches and monasteries, in addition to the despair which loomed large over them and over the entire country after a full decade of political conflict and violence which resulted the past three months only in killing 2600 Iraqis and wounding about 6000, most of them are youths who were killed in explosions which occurs in football fields, youths’ cafes, and popular bazars in all cities of Iraq.

Rafael and Tuma, so as thousands of Christian people have concerns that the cycle of violence once again to an extent which never excludes any area in the land of Iraq. This is especially becomes evident as the Qaida Organization, the typical enemy of Christians, has recently managed to execute a very significant operation in which it broke through two prisons in al-Taji and Abu-Ghuraib, using mortar shells, car bomb and nine suicidal men, and this resulted in releasing about 600 of the most ruthless field-leaders of al-Qaida who fought side by side with its ex-leader Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi.

Tuma still remember his story with a-Qaida members who kidnapped him in a fake checkpoint they made in North Baghdad, then they released him after a deal with his elder brother Edwar, through an influential tribal chief who delivered to the armed men $80.000 and

Investigative Reports

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