- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 30, 2007

BAGHDAD — Nabil Comanny and his family endured the dead bodies in the streets, the roaming kidnap gangs and the continuing power failures.

The Christian family stayed in their southern Dora neighborhood after their Muslim neighbors fled the daily fighting between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

But when a hand-scrawled note appeared on their door telling them to convert to Islam, pay $300 a month for “protection” or die, they realized they had to leave their home of 11 years.

“We don’t have weapons, and the government doesn’t protect us. What else can we do?” Mr. Comanny, a 37-year-old journalist, told James Palmer, who will report the story in Monday’s editions of The Times.

Islamic militants are increasingly targeting Christians, especially here in the capital, forcing an exodus that has cut deeply into the long-standing minority community.

Although meaningful numbers are hard to come by, the last Iraqi census — conducted in 1987 — counted 1 million Christians. National aid groups estimate between 300,000 and 600,000 Christians remain today among an estimated 25 million people.

Read the rest of this article in Monday’s editions of The Washington Times or at www.washingtontimes.com tomorrow.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide