US Commission Faults Iraq on Religious Liberty

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says Iraq has failed to prevent "ongoing, severe abuses" of Christians and other religious minorities.

Commissioner Richard Land says up to four million Iraqis have fled to escape persecution.

At a news conference on Capitol Hill, Congressman Frank Wolf said the U.S. and western churches have failed to defend Iraqi Christians or assist desperate refugees.

Another commissioner says Christian refugees have told him that
conditions for them were better in Iraq under Saddam Hussein than
they've been since the U.S. invasion.

Commission chair Felice Gaer urges the incoming Obama administration to make religious freedom and other human rights a priority in Iraq and the Middle East.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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