The very existence of these groups in mainly Muslim Iraq is now threatened, said a new report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a body appointed by Congress and the president.
The report comes after 1,500 Christian families fled attacks and intimidation in the northern city of Mosul in October. The city's Christian archbishopwas kidnapped and murdered this year. U.S. military commanders have blamed Sunni Islamist militants for the violence.
The bipartisan commission recommended that Iraq be designated a "country of particular concern" as a consequence of what it called the Iraqi government's tolerance of severe abuses of religious freedom.
Read more of the Reuters report here.