During roughly the last decade and a half nearly 75 percent of the Iraqi Christian population fled the country.
The site Faithwire reports that since 2003, the Christian population in Iraq has dropped dramatically.
An Iraqi Christian lawmaker, Josef Sleve, told Anadolu Agency (a news service) that about 2 million Christians lived in Iraq in 2003. He said:
The number of Christians living in the country now stands at between 500,000 and 850,000.
This means that over the past 14 years, some 1.5 million Christians have emigrated to other countries.
Experts say that the Christian departure has sped up since the rise of ISIS.
The Observer reports: Bishops urge David Cameron to grant asylum to Iraqi Christians
The Church of England has demanded that the British government offers sanctuary to thousands of Christians fleeing jihadists in northern Iraq, warning that ignoring their plight would constitute a “betrayal of Britain’s moral and historical obligations”.
A number of bishops have revealed their frustration over David Cameron’s intransigence on the issue, arguing the UK has a responsibility to grant immediate asylum to Iraqi Christian communities recently forced to flee the northern city of Mosul after militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) threatened them with execution, a religious tax or forced conversion.
On Monday, France responded to the so-called religious cleansing by publicly granting asylum to Christians driven from Mosul. The Anglican Church argues the UK has an even greater responsibility to intervene, citing its central role in the 2003 allied invasion, which experts say triggered the destabilisation and sectarian violence that shaped the context for Isis to seize control of much of northern Iraq.
The bishop of Manchester, the Right Rev David Walker, told the Observer: “We would be failing to fulfil our obligations were we not to offer sanctuary. Having intervened so recently and extensively in Iraq, we have, even more than other countries, a moral duty in the UK.
“Given the vast amounts of money that we spent on the war in Iraq, the tiny cost of bringing some people fleeing for their lives to this country and allowing them to settle – and who, in due course, would be an asset to our society – would seem to be minuscule.”…