The Archbishop the Irbil, the funding of Iraqi Kurdistan, has actually accused Britain's Christian leader of failing come do enough in defence of the noodles Christian ar in Iraq.

In an impassioned resolve in London, the Rt Rev Bashar Warda said Iraq's christians now challenged extinction after ~ 1,400 years of persecution.

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

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"Christianity in Iraq," that said, "one of the earliest Churches, if no the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close to extinction. Those of united state who remain must be prepared to challenge martyrdom."

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

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

IS, recognized in the Arab world as Daesh, was pushed from its last stronghold at Baghuz in Syria in March after ~ a substantial multinational military campaign, properly spelling the end of that self-declared "caliphate".

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

This week the archbishop warned that what he claimed were a growing variety of extremist groups that asserted that the death of Christians and Yazidis helped to spread out Islam.

The archbishop walk on to suspicion Britain's Christian leaders of "political correctness" over the concern - he referred to as the fail to condemn extremism "a cancer", saying they were not speaking out loudly sufficient for are afraid of being accused the Islamophobia.

"Will you continue to condone this never-ending, hold persecution versus us?" the said. "When the next wave the violence begins to struggle us, will certainly anyone on her campuses organize demonstrations and also carry indications that to speak 'We space all Christians'?"

Image source, AFP

His views on political correctness are mutual in component by the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen, that chairs the independent Review into the foreign Office's solution to the persecution of christians worldwide.

"I think the archbishop is appropriate that a culture of 'political correctness' has prevented western voices from speaking out around the persecution the Christians," he says. "I think despite this is largely to perform with a reluctance borne the post-colonial guilt."

Bishop Mounstephen maintains the Christian persecution needs to be regarded from a an international perspective and has many causes.

"If us only take into consideration it in the light of Islamic militancy," that says, "we let a many other human being off the hook who have to otherwise be held to account."

Taking a historic perspective, the Archbishop of Irbil lamented the fact that in centuries previous there was a happy duration of fruitful cooperation between Christians and Muslims in Iraq, a time that 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," states Archbishop Warda. "They involved with lock in respectful dialogue from the 8 hours Century.

"A style of scholastic dialogue had developed, and which can only occur due to the fact that a succession of caliphs tolerated minorities. Together toleration ended, so did the society and wealth which flowed native it."

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

But in February Pope Francis make a historic three-day visit to the UAE - the very first ever through a pontiff to the Arabian Peninsula - in i beg your pardon he hosted a massive attended by an approximated 135,000 mostly migrant Catholics.

Image source, Jewan Abdi

And in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and a country that has applied a narrow, austere translate of Islam for the last 40 years, the an initial Coptic Christian massive was enabled in December.

In Syria, the Christian minority felt deeply endangered by the largely Islamist element amongst the rebel groups. V President Assad's forces now in the ascendant, together a an outcome of some frequently brutal tactics, Syria's Christians might be breath a small sigh that relief.

In Iraq though, the outlook for Christians stays bleak. Sectarian tensions between Sunni and also Shia Muslims persist and there space still unknown numbers of IS battle aircraft hiding out in the north and west of the country.

"Friends, we may be facing our finish in the soil of our ancestors. We acknowledge this. In ours end, the entire world faces a minute of truth.

"Will a peaceful and also innocent people be enabled to be persecuted and eliminated because of your faith? And, for the sake of not wanting come speak the reality to the persecutors, will the people be complicit in our elimination?"