Advertisement

France offers asylum to Christians in Mosul, Iraq

About 20 Christian families remain in Mosul.

By Ed Adamczyk
France offers asylum to Christians in Mosul, Iraq
Iraqi refugee girl fills water jugs at the Khazer refugee camp on the outskirts of Arbil, in Iraq's Kurdistan region, June 20, 2014. Tens of thousands of people Mosul after it was overrun by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants. UPI/Ceerwan Aziz | License Photo

PARIS , July 28 (UPI) -- France is prepared to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians displaced by Islamist militants who overtook the city of Mosul, French officials said Monday.

A joint statement by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said, "We are ready, if they so desire, to help facilitate asylum on our territory."

Advertisement

Some of the world's oldest Christian communities reside in Iraq. Many Christians fled Mosul -- the country's second-largest city -- in the past two weeks, after militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, seized the city and ordered Christian residents to convert to Islam or pay a tax, on penalty of death.

Only about 20 Christian families remain in Mosul, United Nations data indicate. Patriarch Louis Sako, an Iraqi senior Christian cleric, estimated Mosul had a Christian population of around 35,000 before the invasion by the Islamic State, a figure down from about 60,000 in 2003.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement