Guest / Limited Access /

The governments of the Netherlands, Great Britain, and other European countries have refused asylum to many Iraqis, including thousands of individual Christians. But this year, evangelical leaders and human rights groups are pushing to resettle Christian refugees in groups to help them maintain their church identity.

The stream of Christian refugees from Iraq and surrounding countries has increased in recent years, though exact numbers do not exist because refugees are not counted by religious affiliation, said Grégor Puppinck, director of the European Center for Law and Justice, the European arm of the American Center for Law and Justice.

United Nations estimates average 1.4 million refugees from Iraq, and half of those may be Christian, according to Thomas Schirrmacher, director of the International Institute for ReligiousFreedom and speaker on human rights for the World EvangelicalAlliance.

After a high-profile church attack in Baghdad killed 58 in late October amid renewed violence against Christians, some church leaders are urging Iraqi Christians to leave their country.

Last month, the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe, an organization devoted to European unity, formally addressed the plight of Middle Eastern Christians for the first time.

At the meeting, the council adopted a recommendation on "Violence Against Christians in the Middle East," which states that the council will monitor religious violence in the Middle East, offer some individuals religion-based asylum, and help relocate Christian refugees.

"We needed to keep the problem on the political agenda and make sure that the European institutions continue to protect the rights and the security as much as possible of these minorities," said Puppinck, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedA United Evangelical Response: The System Failed Eric Garner
A United Evangelical Response: The System Failed Eric Garner
What pastors, professors, and others are saying about the grand jury's decision not to indict.
TrendingChristianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
Editor's PickWhat Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
Rooting our celebration of Christ’s birth more deeply in our lives.
Comments
Christianity Today
Exit Visa: Iraqi Christians Look for Safe Haven
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.