Germany should do more to help Iraq's Christian minority, urged the parliamentary leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) in an interview published Sunday.'I am in favour of building up joint development projects,' the CDU's parliamentary leader Volker Kauder told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

'This should include financial support, to build schools for example,' Kauder continued.'A range of good schools, that would also improve the overall acceptance of Christians in Iraq,' the CDU politician said.

He said Germany had to remind the new Iraqi government more firmly of its duty to protect the country's Christian minorities.Threats of violence and terrorist attacks led to the cancellation of many Christmas celebrations for Iraq's Christians, whose population is dwindling.

Unofficial estimates say there were over 1 million Christians in the country before the US-led invasion in 2003, and that the number has since been halved.Kauder also criticized Turkey's treatment of its Christian minority, as well as the reaction of the European Union, which in his opinion has been too lenient.

'For a country reaching out to Europe in the way that Turkey is, the condition of the Christians there is not acceptable,' Kauder told the paper. He said priests could not be trained there and it was virtually impossible to open new churches.'The European Commission must become more decisive in this regard. Brussels should finally react to the Turkish government's policy of allowing Christianity to dry up in Turkey,' Kauder added.

Monsters and Critics



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