WASHINGTON â€“ The Iraqi governmentâ€™s ability to protect religious freedoms in the conflict-stricken country is handicapped by insurgency, terrorism, and sectarian violence, according to the U.S. State Department.
â€ś[F]requent sectarian violence, including attacks on religious places of worship, hampered the ability to practice religion freely,â€ť stated the annual International Religious Freedom Report released Friday by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
â€śChristians also reported that Islamic extremists warned Christians living in Baghdad's Dora district to convert, leave, or be killed,â€ť it further noted.
While Rice did not specifically address the situation in Iraq in her remarks, she said the report, which covers 198 countries, would help in advancing President Bush's efforts to promote freedom and peace worldwide....
our leaders first priority in Iraq should have been the security,promotion and freedom of the church in Iraq, because they have not been bothered to do this,I am afraid the whole Iraq conflict is just going to get worse for all sides.