France Offers Asylum to Iraqi Christians

Radio Free Europe — France says it is ready to welcome Christians from northern Iraq who have been told by Islamic extremists ruling the region to either convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, or face death.

France’s foreign and interior ministers said in a joint statement in Paris on July 28 that “we are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.”

The French government is already providing aid to displaced people who have fled to Iraq’s self-rule Kurdish region to escape threats from the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Islamic State insurgents seized large swathes of northern Iraq last month, prompting hundreds of Christian families in Mosul to flee a city which has hosted the faith since its earliest years.

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