ROME — Pope Francis will travel next month to Iraq, a land devastated by ongoing conflicts that have uprooted more than a million Christians in just two decades, France 24 reports.
In 2003, at the end of Saddam Hussein’s reign, there were 1.5 million Christians living in a country with a population of 25 million people, notes William Warda, co-founder of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, whereas today, fewer than 400,000 Christians remain in a country of 40 million people, most of whom are Muslims.
This means that as a percentage of the Iraqi population, Christians have shrunk from six percent to one percent in just twenty years. In the capital of Baghdad things are worse still, as the community of 750,000 Christians has diminished by 90 percent.
Others are even more pessimistic in their assessment of the situation. A 2019 report from Aid to the Church in Need stated