Iraqi PM vows to protect Christians

In an AP report, Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, pledged to defend the country’s small contingent of Christians, mainly Chaldeans, in an effort to stop the Christians’ mass exodus from Iraq.

The Christian community here, about 3 percent of the country’s 26 million people, is particularly vulnerable, and has little political or military clout to defend itself.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians, who are mostly Chaldeans, have been targeted by Islamic extremists who label them “crusaders” loyal to U.S. troops.

Churches, priests and business owned by Christians have been attacked by Islamic militants.

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