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Christians Flee from Persecution in Mosul

The bullet-riddled bodies of 7 Iraqi Christians have become the straw that has broken the camels back in the city of Mosul, Iraq. Recent kidnappings and specific targeting of Christians has led to cries of outrage and a call for action by Christian leaders in a country struggling to rebuild.

Louis Sako, the current Archbishop of Mosul, said that the targeting of Christians and string of recent attacks is only damaging national unity, Fox News reports. He emphasized that the Christians in Iraq seek to live in peace with their Islamic neighbors and to work together to rebuild their war-torn country.

Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki promised to provide protection for the persecuted Christian citizens of Iraq, and, working with local church authorities, has set up checkpoints around Mosul's four largest Christian areas, the BBC reports.

Though violence between those claiming to be Muslims and those claiming to be Christians goes back for centuries, the specific murders occurring in Iraq today are believed to be being carried out by Sunni extremists. And, according to the BBC, the situation in Mosul is only getting worse despite efforts by US-Coalition forces.

It is estimated that roughly 3% of Iraq's 26 million people are Christian, or about 800,000.