Iraqi Christians Remain Doubtful About Security

April 10, 2009

Author: Aamer Madhani


Salma Younan remembers the day when an al-Qaeda fighter came to her home and demanded she renounce Christianity and convert to Islam.

She told him she would rather die than turn her back on her faith. "My blood is not as precious as my savior's," she recalls saying.

Security in her Baghdad neighborhood of Dora has improved since then, and most of the insurgents have disappeared. Many Christians are returning to homes they had abandoned. But Younan, who remained in Dora throughout those violent years, doubts peace will ever fully return for the country's beleaguered Christian minority.

"It is better, but it will probably not ever be the same for Christians in Iraq," she said.

Though attacks have been reduced to the lowest levels since 2003 — there were nine attacks in Dora last month compared with 271 attacks in June 2007, according to U.S. military data — the violence hasn't dissipated completely.