The Archbishop the Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has actually accused Britain's Christian leaders of failing to do enough in defence of the noodles Christian community in Iraq.

In one impassioned deal with in London, the Rt Rev Bashar Warda claimed Iraq's christians now challenged extinction ~ 1,400 year of persecution.

Since the US-led intrusion toppled the routine of Saddam Hussein in 2003, that said, the Christian community had dwindled through 83%, from roughly 1.5 million to simply 250,000.

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"Christianity in Iraq," the said, "one that the earliest Churches, if not the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close come extinction. Those of us who remain should be all set to challenge martyrdom."

He referred to the current, pressing threat indigenous Islamic State (IS) jihadists as a "final, existential struggle", adhering to the group's initial attack in 2014 that displaced more than 125,000 christians from their historic homelands.

"Our tormentors confiscated ours present," he said, "while seeking come wipe the end our history and ruin our future. In Iraq over there is no redress because that those who have lost properties, homes and businesses. 10s of hundreds of Christians have nothing to present for your life's work, for generations that work, in locations where their families have lived, maybe, for hundreds of years."

IS, recognized in the Arab people as Daesh, was driven from its last stronghold at Baghuz in Syria in March ~ a enormous multinational military campaign, effectively spelling the end of that is self-declared "caliphate".

But churches, monasteries and also homes belonging to Christian family members have to be decimated and also thousands of family members have no returned.

This main the archbishop warned that what he claimed were a growing variety of extremist teams that asserted the the killing of Christians and Yazidis assisted to spread out Islam.

The archbishop went on to suspicion Britain's Christian leaders of "political correctness" end the worry - he called the failure to condemn extremism "a cancer", speak they were not speaking out loudly enough for are afraid of being accused of Islamophobia.

"Will you proceed to condone this never-ending, stop persecution versus us?" he said. "When the next wave that violence starts to hit us, will certainly anyone on your campuses hold demonstrations and also carry signs that speak 'We space all Christians'?"

Image source, AFP

His views on political correctness are shared in component by the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen, that chairs the live independence Review into the international Office's an answer to the persecution of christians worldwide.

"I think the archbishop is right that a society of 'political correctness' has prevented western voices from speak out about the persecution that Christians," he says. "I think though this is mostly to carry out with a reluctance borne that post-colonial guilt."

Bishop Mounstephen maintains the Christian persecution demands to be perceived from a global perspective and has multiple causes.

"If us only think about it in the light of Islamic militancy," that says, "we let a the majority of other world off the hook who need to otherwise be hosted to account."

Taking a historic perspective, the Archbishop of Irbil lamented the truth that in centuries past there was a happy period of fruitful cooperation in between Christians and also Muslims in Iraq, a time the historians have referred to as the Islamic golden Age.

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"Our Christian ancestors common with Muslim Arabs a deep heritage of thought and philosophy," claims Archbishop Warda. "They involved with lock in respectful conversation from the 8th Century.

"A style of scholastic dialogue had developed, and which can only occur since a sequence of caliphs tolerated minorities. As toleration ended, so did the culture and wealth which flowed native it."

Egypt's Copts, that constitute at least 10% that the country's 100 million-plus population, have come under sustained assault from jihadists who have bombed their churches and also attempted to drive them out of north Sinai.

But in February Pope Francis made a historic three-day visit come the UAE - the very first ever through a pontiff come the Arabian Peninsula - in i beg your pardon he held a mass attended through an estimated 135,000 mostly migrant Catholics.

Image source, Jewan Abdi

And in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace the Islam and a country that has enforced a narrow, austere interpretation of Islam because that the critical 40 years, the an initial Coptic Christian fixed was permitted in December.

In Syria, the Christian minority felt deeply endangered by the mostly Islamist element among the rebel groups. Through President Assad's pressures now in the ascendant, together a result of some regularly brutal tactics, Syria's Christians may be breath a tiny sigh of relief.

In Iraq though, the outlook because that Christians stays bleak. Sectarian tensions between Sunni and also Shia Muslims persist and there room still unknown numbers of IS fighters hiding out in the north and west that the country.

"Friends, we may be encountering our finish in the floor of our ancestors. We recognize this. In our end, the entire civilization faces a minute of truth.

"Will a peaceful and innocent people be enabled to it is in persecuted and also eliminated due to the fact that of your faith? And, for the benefits of no wanting to speak the reality to the persecutors, will the civilization be complicit in ours elimination?"