Iraqi Kurds staged a show of support for Christians in the city of Kirkuk on Sunday. The protest took place near the oldest church in the province.
One of the signs at the demonstration read, "Stop the genocide against Christians."
The protestors want Iraq's government to help thousands of Christians who have fled from the northern city of Mosul. They believe the government should pay compensation to victims and to aid them in returning.
However, attacks on Christians continue.
Officials believe nearly 10,000 Christians have been forced to flee Mosul.
Chaldeans in U.S. to Help
Chaldeans in Detroit have mounted an effort to help Christians in Iraq. Located in Iraq, Chaldea was one of the earliest Christian communities in the world.
"How can all of these families be forced to leave and no one does anything?" said Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, a jurisdiction of the Chaldean Catholic Church, based in Southfield, Michigan. "It really is an organized crime against humanity."
Chaldeans, who live in Metro Detroit are organizing to mount relief efforts. The Motor City has the largest numbers of Chaldeans as residents than anywhere else outside of Iraq.
"We are talking about the survival of Christianity in Iraq, the original Christian community in the world," said Dave Nona, a member of the board of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce and the Chaldean Assyrian Council of America.
"The persecution in Baghdad started three or four years ago, with the bombing of a church, the kidnapping and killing of priests; ransoms were paid -- lots of ransoms," Nona said. "Within the past year or so, when al-Qaeda was driven out of Anbar Province, a lot of them moved to the north, to Mosul, and a lot of these elements and a contingent of fundamentalist Sunni elements in Mosul started this latest round of persecutions."
"There is fear and panic because this has become like the genocide of Christians in that area," said Joseph Kassab, executive director of the Chaldean Federation of America.
"We need global leaders and communities throughout the world to step up and act to save a people from extinction, there."
Shi'a Muslims Also Supporting Christians
Shi'a Muslims is one group in Iraq that is trying to supporting Christians. The Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani has called for their protection and participation in the government. Muqtada al-Sadr has vowed to use his displaced Mahdi Army as "human shields to protect our Christian brothers and sisters."
Many Chaldeans who live in the Detroit area say a Chaldean homeland is the only answer. It is a place Christians could live in peace. The homeland would be called the Nineveh Plain Administrative Unit.
Recently, one international lawyer from Sterling Heights, Michigan called home with news about including Christian minorities in such a homeland. Nikmat Hakeem, who is Chaldean, said the Kurdish constitutional committee had just recommended including the Christian minorities in its proposed autonomous region.
"This is a big thing," an excited Hakeem relayed through an interpreter. "The Kurds have gotten behind it and included it in their proposed constitution, and they have a large number of people in the central government. To get such a plan, down the road, the central government would have to approve."
Sources: CBN News, ABC News, The Detroit News