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More violence in Iraq

In his latest Century column, global Christianity expert Philip Jenkins discusses the persecution and hardship faced by Christians in the Middle East in the last hundred years (subscription required). Jenkins points out that the fall of secular groups in the region in more recent years "has been cumulatively disastrous for Christian populations." Case in point: Iraqi Christians, who have largely been expelled or exiled since the fall of Saddam.

This week saw the sentencing--to death--of the three men behind the al-Qaida attack on a Baghdad cathedral last fall, which killed 68. But there was also another attack this week, a car bomb that wounded at least 20 people outside a church in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad.

Jenkins's column ends with this: "The main mystery in this story is why Western Christians seem neither to know nor care about the catastrophe that has unfolded before them in the ancient heartlands of their faith." Even when we do know, what will it take--and what will it mean--to care?

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