November 16, 2007

"Come home"

From Michael Yon's latest dispatch, on the re-opening of a Christian church in Baghdad....

....A Bishop came to St John’s Church in Baghdad today, 15 November, where a crowd of locals welcomed him home. They were joined at the service by soldiers from the 2-12 infantry battalion, many of whom had fought hard to secure these neighborhood streets. Members of the hard-fighting Iraqi Army 3rd Division were also here for this special day...

....LTC Michael told me today that when al Qaeda came to Dora, they began harassing Christians first, charging them “rent.” It was the local Muslims, according to LTC Michael, who first came to him for help to protect the Christians in his area. That’s right. LTC Michael told me more than once that the Muslims reached out to him to protect the Christians from al Qaeda. Real Muslims here are quick to say that al Qaeda members are not true Muslims. From charging “rent,” al Qaeda’s harassment escalated to killing Christians, and also Muslims. Untold thousands of Christians and Muslims fled Baghdad in the wake of the darkness of civil war. Most of the Christians are gone now; having fled to Syria, Jordan or Northern Iraq.....

....Today, Muslims mostly filled the front pews of St John’s. Muslims who want their Christian friends and neighbors to come home. The Christians who might see these photos likely will recognize their friends here. The Muslims in this neighborhood worry that other people will take the homes of their Christian neighbors, and that the Christians will never come back. And so they came to St John’s today in force, and they showed their faces, and they said, “Come back to Iraq. Come home.” They wanted the cameras to catch it. They wanted to spread the word: Come home. Muslims keep telling me to get it on the news. “Tell the Christians to come home to their country Iraq.”....

I don't know how many of those Christians will return. ALL the Christian communities of the Middle East are shrinking, even disappearing. Or rather, they've moved--nobody disappeared, they've moved to Australia or Britain or the US. One thing is for sure, the America-hating Leftists who used the flight of Baghdad's Christians as a club to bash the Bush Administration and our nation will not take any notice if they do.

And of course they will never criticize the real villains--the vile murderers of al Qaeda. You can't criticize your allies! And anyway, only the United States does bad things to the world.

In 1900 Istanbul was about 50% Christian--Now there are only a few thousand Christians left there. Iraq is actually more hospitable to it's old Christian communities than most Moslem countries.

Posted by John Weidner at November 16, 2007 9:12 AM
Weblog by John Weidner