Christian churches in Iraq have called off or scaled back Christmas celebrations over safety concerns after numerous attacks in recent months have targeted Christian houses, churches, and neighborhoods the Christian Science Monitor reported.
Churches in Bagdad, Kirkuk, Basra, and Mosul have asked members not to decorate their houses, and the churches canceled Christmas Mass and planned Christmas celebrations.
One terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq has threatened 11 Christian leaders.The group, with strings to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on Oct. 31 that killed more than 40 Christians at the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Bagdad.
According to a report by Amnesty International, 65 attacks were recorded on Christian churches in Iraq between mid-2004 and the end of 2009. Last month the violence against Christians increased and caused dozens of Christian families to flee toward the Kurdistan region of Iraq, according to the report.