The Skeptics

The Plight of Christians in Iraq

The ruinous financial and geopolitical impacts of the Iraq war are many. Even worse are the devastating humanitarian consequences—more than 4,400 American and 300 allied personnel killed, hundreds of dead American contractors, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and more maimed and wounded, and four million Iraqis displaced from their homes, half of them overseas.

Religious minorities have suffered disproportionately; the historic Christian community has been largely destroyed. Several hundred thousand Christians have been forced into exile abroad, mostly in Lebanon and Syria. Many others have been killed.

Many war advocates claim Iraq is now a great success. But not for Iraq’s Christians. Yesterday Baghdad was the scene of the worst attack yet on this vulnerable minority. Reports the Washington Times:

Iraq's dwindling Christian community was grieving and afraid Monday after militants seized a Baghdad church during evening Mass, held the congregation hostage and triggered a raid by Iraqi security forces. The bloodbath left at least 58 people dead and 78 wounded — nearly everyone inside.

The attack, claimed by an al Qaeda-linked group, was the deadliest recorded against Iraq's Christians, whose numbers have plummeted since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion as the community has fled to other countries.

The next time policymakers consider launching an aggressive war for “humanitarian” purposes, or any purpose for that matter, they should remember the plight of Iraq’s Christians. Unfortunately, real people in America and around the world usually end up paying a high price for Washington’s attempts at social engineering.