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Despite Turmoil, Christians Place Faith in New Iraq

Christians comprise one of Iraq's oldest populations, and one of the country's most vulnerable minorities. Along with their neighbors, the Kurds, Christians were persecuted by the Baath regime and expelled from homelands in the north. Today, more than three million Iraqi Christians live outside Iraq.

But nearly a million Christians remain, and many want their land back. Efforts toward that end face many obstacles as Iraq struggles to create a government which allows effective power-sharing between a Shiite Muslim majority and the interests of Kurds and Sunni Muslims. Christians, a much smaller and weaker minority, hope for a just resolution, but fear they will again be shut out.

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Longtime listeners recognize Jacki Lyden's voice from her frequent work as a substitute host on NPR. As a journalist who has been with NPR since 1979, Lyden regards herself first and foremost as a storyteller and looks for the distinctive human voice in a huge range of national and international stories.
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