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-Europeans Dealing with Thousands of Iraqi Christian Refugees

by Dr. D ~ April 7th, 2011

Council of Europe

          (Members of the Council of Europe via Wikipedia)

Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians continue to leave Iraq in search of safety and normalcy for their families. Many immigrate to other middle eastern countries like Syria and Jordan which allow some freedoms and protection for Christians but also some limitations.

Iraqi refugees attempting to immigrate to European countries have had only limited success.  Many European governments like the Netherlands and Great Britain have refused to grant asylum to the fleeing Christians from Iraq.

Last month, the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe addressed the Middle Eastern Christian refugee plight for the first time and adopted a new recommendation on "Violence Against Christians in the Middle East." The Council decided to monitor religious based discrimination and violence in the Middle East with the view towards offering asylum and help for relocation to Christian refugees. According to the discussion coordinator:

"We needed to keep the problem on the political agenda and make sure that the European institutions continue to protect the rights and the security as much as possible of these minorities. The Council of Europe has influence on the [European Court of Human Rights] and the rest of the European states."

The German Evangelical Alliance has also gotten involved in the issue and is partnering with churches to help relocate whole groups of Christians who then recreate Syriac and Orthodox church communities in Germany. According to a representative:

"The idea was to bring them to other countries in big groups, not only a single refugee … so they would have a chance to go on with this. In Germany and the Netherlands, it really worked. You really have areas where there are 200 or 300 Syriac Orthodox Christians speaking Aramaic in a place so they can form congregations again."

Response: It is really sad that the transformation of Iraq by the US and allied forces has ended up affecting the Christian community in such an adverse way that over 500,000 have left Iraq and immigrated to other countries. I still do not understand or accept the way our military has ignored the problem and why they refused to help the Christian community in Iraq. It is a scandal is far as I am concerned.   

In fleeing the persecution and violence, most Iraqi Christians have gone across the border to Jordan and Syria. However, those countries while far more tolerant than most Muslim countries towards Christians still do not offer equal freedom, opportunity, and justice for minority religions under the law. 

It is good to see the European community dealing with helping the Iraqi Christians. I have noticed also that the Chaldean (Iraqi Catholics) community in San Diego continues to grow. Somehow relatives seem to be able to continue to bring their families into the USA whether by legal means or otherwise.            *Top

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1 Response to -Europeans Dealing with Thousands of Iraqi Christian Refugees

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