In the 1950s, Iraq was a prosperous country with large numbers of minorities (including one of the largest populations of Jews in the world) living in
general peace with Muslims. Of course, we all know what happened after that. After political coups and whatnot, the fall of Saddam, etc., the
minorities dwindled away. In the past 7 years, about 70% of Iraqi Christians are gone, most of them leaving to other countries as refugees.
Even those who stayed in the country have been largely displaced. Baghdad has become very anti-Christian since 2003, and much of the ancient
Christian population has fled to the northern areas of the country, what is commonly known as Kurdistan.
Before there was "Iraq" there was the Ottoman Empire. Wigram, Layard, and other British explorers have written first-hand accounts of the
"Kurdish" areas of the Ottoman Empire from the 1800s. What is today Eastern Turkey and Northern Iraq was majority Christian, including Armenians,
Nestorians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, etc..
The Turks, while killing the Armenians in a genocide, were slightly nicer to the other Christians, and simply forced them to leave the country. Many
went to Northern Iraq or Baghdad, leaving their traditional homeland, and giving the land up for grabs to the Kurds. Many still think Eastern Turkey
is traditional Kurdish land.
After nearly 2000 years of defending themselves against Persians, Mongols, and various Islamic conquests, the Christians of "Kurdistan" became a
minority in Northern Iraq and practically ceased to exist in Turkey. There are a few traditionally Christian villages that also still survive in
Genetic tests have been done, and the Christians of Iraq are distinct from the Muslim population. Very, very little mixing of genes has happened in
the past 1500 years. The Iraqi Christians of today are the descendants of the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, etc.. who are accredited with
beginning civilization and creating many inventions, and so on.
They are now nearly extinct.
I believe they should have special rights, just as the natives of America or Canada have today. Instead, many are hiding in caves, many get killed by
Islamic Extremists, and they all have a second-class status.
I'm not exactly suggesting creating a reservation for them, with casinos & alcohol, but that might be a goal in the long term. I'd say start out
with recognition. Iraq and the world should recognize that the dwindling population of Iraqi Christians are the natives of the land.
The Jews came and created Israel, when they aren't even the traditional Jews who inhabited the area (since most of them are from Europe or the
By that logic, Iraqi Christians should have even more of a legitimate claim to a large area of land to build their own country on. Also, the
Armenians should split Eastern Turkey with the Iraqi Christians. I mean, if they had even half the power of the Jews.
Well, nothing is going to happen. I'm just ranting on. They're probably all going to leave or die, and it will be in the history books, hopefully.
There's not much else we can do about it. Those that left the area aren't likely to ever go back.