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Early Withdrawal of American Troops in Iraq would lead to 'the Extermination of Christians and Christianity in Iraq'

Contact: Christian Defense Coalition, 202-547-1735, 540-538-4741 cell

WASHINGTON, August 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- This statement was made by Iraqi Christian leaders to a prayer delegation, led by the Christian Defense Coalition that visited Baghdad at the end of July.

Members of that delegation met with the Iraqi Prime Minister, Cabinet members and persecuted Christian leaders.  (See photos)

The Christian Defense Coalition says that America cannot allow 2,000 years of Christianity to be exterminated from Iraq and that religious liberty must be protected for all faiths and traditions.

The group calls on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to give assurances that Christians and all religious minorities will be protected in Iraq.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, comments, "Perhaps the most emotional and moving moment of our recent trip to Baghdad was when our delegation met with Iraqi Christian leaders." When asked, what would happen if American troops would leave early?  Their response was powerful and chilling.  The Christian leaders simply said, "If the Americans would withdraw early, it would lead to the extermination of Christians and Christianity in Iraq."

Our government cannot allow 2,000 years of Christianity to be exterminated in Iraq.  Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid must lay out a clear plan and agenda detailing how religious freedom and liberty will be protected for all faiths and traditions in Iraq.

My fear is that an early withdrawal will lead to genocide and bloodshed for religious minorities; especially Christians.  It would be a betrayal of human rights and a trampling of American values if congressional leadership would allow this to happen.