Christians have been coming to Sunday worship in Mosul for about a thousand years. The chapel is empty today and the father of the chapel says it's not much different on Sundays. His parishioners fled a wave of killings and threats against Mosul's Christians in recent weeks. The father says it's hard to figure out why or how many have left. Still Mosul has never completely recovered from the chaos after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Many Christians have left Mosul since that time and getting out of Iraq if they could, and the most recent exodus seems especially dramatic but it's also hard to explain. The leading U.S. commander in Mosul says the violence against Christians began in October and then fear took over. Several houses owned by Christians have been destroyed and rumors beyond that have circulated, pumped up by the Iraqi media according to the U.S. commanders. Many have fled to towns like this one just outside the province. But even here with an ad hoc Christian militia guarding the street, many were afraid of talking.
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