The French government has said it is ready to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians forced to flee their homes by jihadist death threats. Many Christians have already been forced out of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, where the Christian community once numbered 60,000, the largest in a country where Christians have lived for almost 2,000 years. Since the US-led invasion of Iraq, the number of Christians within Iraq has dwindled to a few thousand, with the UN estimating just 20 Christian families remain in Mosul. Now the Islamist militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (formerly called ISIS) has said Christians must leave the city, convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death by the sword. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve have released a statement saying: “The situation of the Eastern Christians is unfortunately dramatic. The ultimatum issued to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat facing these people. “France is outraged by these brutalities, which it condemns in the strongest possible terms. We are assisting displaced persons who are fleeing the Islamic State’s threats and seeking refuge in Kurdistan. Should they
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