Newsweek reports on the massive dislocation of Christians in the Iraqi Diaspora that has resulted from the US invasion of that country:
Before the war, members of the Assyrian and Chaldean rites, along with smaller numbers of Armenians and others, constituted roughly 1.2 million of the country's 25 million people. Most sources agree that well over half of those Christians have fled the country now, and many or most of the rest have been internally displaced, but some estimates are far more drastic. According to the Roman Catholic relief organization Caritas, the number of Christians in Iraq had plummeted to 25,000 by last year. Of the 1.7 million Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria, half are Christians, says Father Raymond Moussalli, a Chaldean vicar who now says mass every night in a basement in Amman. "The government of Saddam used to protect us," he says. "Mr. Bush doesn't protect us. The Shia don't protect us. No Christian was persecuted under Saddam for being Christian."
The virtual destruction of Iraq's Christian communities will be just one more piece of George W. Bush's lasting legacy. These people have joined the estimated 4 million Iraqis who have either fled Iraq altogether or become IDPs (internally displaced people) as a result of the chaos and anarchy that has consumed Iraq since the fall of the Hussein regime.
To our collective national shame, the Bush administration has failed to respond effectively to the humanitarian catastrophe of the Iraqi Diaspora for which it bears so much responsibility. I urge you to contact the White House today to express your displeasure over their denial of the suffering of Iraq's refugees and urge them to address the situation in an effective manner as rapidly as possible.
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