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Middle East

In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

© Mehdi Chebil, FRANCE 24 | Rally in Paris in support of Iraqi Christians

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-29

An estimated 3,000 Iraqi Christian families from the northern city of Mosul have abandoned their homes in recent days after becoming the target of jihadists who overran the region. Many in France are calling attention to their plight.

Protesters gathered in front of the cathedrals in Paris and Lyon over the weekend, demanding that French leaders take steps to help Iraqi Christians under threat by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS.

Many people attending the rallies in France brandished a ن, the Arabic letter for N, which jihadists have been spray-painting on the homes of Christians in Mosul, thus identifying the families as “Nazarene” (the word for Christian in the Koran).

Christians in Mosul and the surrounding region have been ordered to convert, pay a non-Muslim levy, or face death by ISIS.

The use of ن, pronounced “noon”, is part of a larger campaign that has taken off on online social networks.

In response to the rapidly growing refugee crisis in northern Iraq, France’s government announced on Monday that it would take exceptional measures to provide aid to Christians who have fled to Kurdistan, and to offer them asylum on French territory.

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Date created : 2014-07-29

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