To be Christian in Iraq is an impossible mission, says priest from Baghdad

A priest shared to a church in California what he went through when he was detained by jihadists in Iraq in 2006, and said that it's impossible to be a Christian in the Middle-Eastern country.

"To be Christian in Iraq, it's an impossible mission," Father Douglas said, as quoted by Express. "But even so, I'm not actually surprised when they attack my people. I'm surprised how my people are still existing."

Iraqi Christians pray during a mass on Christmas eve at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baghdad December 24, 2014. | REUTERS/ Thaier Al-Sudani

According to the report, the priest was on his way home from a mass in Baghdad when the al-Qaeda conducted the attack. He was there when his church was bombed, after which he was taken as a hostage and was subjected to torture for more than a week.

"They destroyed my car, they blew up my church on front of me. I got shot by AK-47 in my leg. The bullet is still in my leg. And I had been kidnapped for nine days," he narrated. "They smash my nose and my teeth by hammer. And they broke one of my back discs."

Father Douglas is now staying in the Northern Kurdish terrirory and works with Christian refugees and displaced people who had no choice but to flee the violence in their homes.

The report says that the current estimates of Christians remaining in Iraq is less than 200,000. Non-government organization Open Doors USA said, given the current plight and flight of Christians from the Middle East, there is a chance that Christianity would be extinguished from the place of its roots.

There is an international outcry against the persecution of Christians in many parts of the world. They have been subjected to inhumane treatment, including murder, rape, abduction of youth and making them into sex slaves, and many more. They are forced to convert to Islam or suffer the consequences like having to pay a special tax, imprisonment, and even death. In March, the United States Secretary of State John Kerry declared the actions of the Islamic State aka Daesh as genocide.

"In my judgment Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups ... under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia (Shi'ite) Muslims," he said. "Naming these crimes is important, but what is essential is to stop them."

A petition for the United Nations to likewise declare the atrocitiies against Christians in Syria and Iraq as genocide had gathered 400,000 signatures.