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Can Iraqi Christians Afford Refuge in Kurdistan?

Conference of Christian leaders says yes; journalist who recently visited says no.

Following a fact-finding trip to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, a group of American religious leaders reports that the faith community in Kurdistan "is a success story that is still being told." This could offer hope for Iraqi Christians seeking a home in a war-ravaged, dangerous religious climate.

Religious leaders made a case for the prospects of Christians in Iraqi Kurdistan as part of a recent conference in Washington, D.C.

This analysis was bolstered by news that Kirkuk city authorities will soon open the "first Christian cultural centre in Iraq in decades, despite dramatic decline in [its] once significant Christian population."

But not everyone is so optimistic. According to Star Tribune journalist Matteo Fagotto, who recently visited Kurdistan, "many [Christians] are now abandoning the region" due to economic uncertainty.

"What was once a safe haven for Christians is rapidly turning into the departure point for tens of thousands who feel they don't have a future in their own country," ...

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