Iraq's Christians Form New Militias to Combat Islamic Extremists

[Telegraph-UK ] Damien McElroy - In the five years since the Anglo-American invasion of 2003, about half of the 800,000 Christians who once lived in Iraq have fled the country. Now, civilians in Christian villages in northern Iraq have established their own security in an attempt to deter murders and abductions. "We are facing the threat of wipe-out," said Father Yusuf Yohannes in Karamlis, 10 miles east of Mosul. The security patrols have already had an impact and there is a renewed willingness to resist the demands of Muslim radicals. "Why should Christians face arrest for not fasting in Ramadan?" asked Fr. Yusuf. "Why is it that women should cover their faces if God loves all human beings? We reject these things and want the right to our own culture."

2008-07-30 01:00:00

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