News Brief
Tens of thousands of Christians flee Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq - Christians, by the tens of thousands, have fled from Iraq to other countries such as Jordan and Syria, since August 9th when the Assyrian Christian Compound in Baghdad came under attack. The exodus has continued due to fierce fighting between American forces and the al-Mahdi Army of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr which began on August 17th.

Pascale Isho Warda, the Displacement and Migration Minister and sole Assyrian Christian in the country's government, stated that 40,000 Christians had already left Iraq since five church bombings, which were blamed on Islamic militants, killed up to 15 people 2 weeks ago, the French News Agency (AFP) reported.

The number of Christians who fled was much greater than was expected, and more believers were expected to follow among growing Muslim violence in areas such as the troubled town of Najaf.