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Why are attacks against Christians on the rise in Iraq and Egypt and could the violence spread to other countries?

Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq's Christian community was relatively protected from sectarian violence. Now, half a million Iraqi Christians have fled the country, many claiming to have suffered persecution.

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Suicide attacks last week in Alexandria targeted Egypt's Coptic Christians killing 21. With community members preparing to celebrate their Christmas on Friday, many are wary of even greater violence.

On Thursday's Riz Khan, we examine the recent increase in violence against Christian minorities and ask what more should governments do to protect these communities?

Joining the show are Ismat Karmo, the chairman of Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Council of America; Anthony Shenoda, professor of anthropology at Scripps College where he focuses on Coptic communities; and Charles Sennott, the author of The Body and the Blood: The Middle East's Vanishing Christians and the Possibility for Peace.

You can join the conversation. Call in with your questions and comments on Thursday, January 6, at our live time of 1630GMT. Repeats air at 2030GMT, and the next day at 0130GMT.

Source: Al Jazeera