March 5, 2010
A History of Faith – A New Century of Suffering – A Report on Religious Liberty
(March 5, 2010 – Ottawa, ON) On the verge of attempted democratic elections in Iraq, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s Religious Liberty Commission (EFC RLC) today released a report detailing recent religious freedom developments affecting Christians in that nation.
Entitled A History of Faith – A New Century of Suffering – A Report on Religious Liberty for Christians in Iraq the 19-page document includes a history of the Christian church in Iraq including a look at Christianity during the reign of Saddam Hussein and the effect of the U.S. led invasion on Assyrian Christians in 2003.
The report details the nature and intensity of persecution suffered daily by Iraqi believers for their faith in Christ. Drawing on verified sources and documented attacks the report paints an agonizing portrait of a reality of suffering that few western Christians could imagine.
The report discusses the difficult choice faced by Iraqi Christians who must decide whether to stay in their homes or flee to poverty. With a proud and deep history in the early church, escaping to another country is, for some, a betrayal of these strong roots. Many choose to relocate away from hot spots of persecution to ‘safer’ regions, but never fully escape the suffering that comes with the name “Christian”.
The conclusion of the report includes thoughtful and practical recommendations to the Canadian Government that take into account the difficult balance any government must master - between taking a stand on behalf of the persecuted and bringing more attention, and potentially more harm, to lives already vulnerable.
“Christianity has been evident in Iraq for fourteen centuries”, notes Don Hutchinson, chair of the EFC RLC, “but the Iraqi church has not faced greater danger or forced dispersion as has taken place since the U.S. led invasion in 2005. This country has rewritten its constitution and now enters an election period, but Iraqi Christians are living without being able to request or enforce the Iraqi constitutional right of religious freedom. In fact, instead they face cruel persecution for their faith.”
The March 5, 2010 report is available on the EFC website at:
For more information contact:
Administrator / Researcher
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
(613) 233-9868 x225