CMEP to Secretary Clinton on Violence Against Iraqi Christians (July 22, 2009)

July 22, 2009

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Washington, DC

Dear Madam Secretary,

We have been distressed to learn of the recent resurgence of violence perpetrated against the minority Christian community in Iraq. According to reports seven churches in Baghdad and Mosul were attacked over the weekend of July 12, resulting in the loss of several innocent lives and many injuries, mostly women and children. This is a sign of the continuing challenge to establish rule of law and security for all Iraqis.

We deplore all acts of violence against Iraqi citizens of all religions and ethnicities, especially violence directed against vulnerable minorities. Past attacks against Christians in Iraq have undermined that community and contributed to large scale migration. We are encouraged that the Iraqi government has condemned the attacks and promised to implement measures to better protect churches, including the imposition of curfews and road blocks.

We hope you will work closely with the Iraqi government to ensure that all possible security measures are taken to combat these violent attacks. As the US military presence in Iraq is reduced, we urge you in particular to develop policies that will effectively protect the ancient but vulnerable faith communities there.

Sincerely,

James Fine
Board Chair

Warren Clark
Executive Director

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