Christians fear extinction in Iraq after years of persecution at the hands of Islamist factions and amid a threat of further attacks following the latest Pakistan park bombing.
After a weekend of religious ceremonies to mark Easter, a senior Christian leader has issued a fresh warning about the threat his faith is now facing in a volatile Middle East.
On Sunday, more than 70 people – including dozens of children – were murdered in a suicide bombing on a park in the city of Lahore which was aimed at Christians.
In Iraq, Christians have suffered under the barbaric rule of Islamic State militants who have forced them to flee their homes or face severe punishments or even death for refusing to ascribe to the Muslim faith.
Father Muyessir al-Mukhalisi, a priest at Saint George’s Chaldean Church in east Baghdad, said his people were now “threatened with extinction”.
He added: “This is a harsh word but every day we are being depleted. Our people are travelling, migrating.”