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December 21, 2006

Deadly Silence

How many more troops should we send to Iraq? Should we have a timeline, and how long, in Iraq? Etc.

Of all the questions now swirling around over the Iraq War, there's one discussion shamefully missing, as Roberto has pointed out before: What about the Christians -- the Assyrians, or Chaldeans? Chuck raises the point in today's "BreakPoint" commentary:

There is one thing, however, Christians can bring to this discussion. It is the fate of Iraq’s Christians. There are an estimated 600,000 to as many as one million Christians in Iraq. They are called “Assyrians” or “Chaldeans,” and as these names suggest, they have lived in Iraq since time immemorial. What’s more, they are one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, dating back to at least the second century. If any group has an historical claim to their part of Iraq, it’s them.

Yet an increasing number of Iraqi Christians have concluded that “there is no future for Christians” in Iraq. As one Christian put it, “We have no militia to defend us.”

That matters because, as the New Republic put it, “Sunni, Shia, and Kurd may agree on little else, but all have made sport of brutalizing their Christian neighbors.” Since neither Iraqi nor Americans officials are willing to protect them, Christians are leaving their ancestral home.

The extent of this neglect and indifference is on display in the [Iraq] study group’s final report: In its eighty-four pages, the word Christian never appears—not once. The words Assyrians and Chaldeans appear only in passing in the next-to-last recommendation as part of a longer list. Not one paragraph, not one sentence.

Read the full commentary and share your thoughts here.

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Chuck is absolutely right. Another small group of Christians consistently looked over are the Christians in Taiwan. In all the debates on the China/Taiwan conflict and America's role in it no one mentions that if China ever gained control of Taiwan the 1% of the population that's Christian would be very quickly squashed.

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