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On Thursday, Meriam Ibrahim's eight-month ordeal finally ended when she was flown out of the country to Rome where she, and her new baby daughter, met the Pope in the Vatican.But it has been a different story for the 3,000 Christians of Mosul who were driven from their homes in northern Iraq last week by Islamist fanatics who broadcast a fatwa from the loudspeakers of the city's mosques ordering them to convert to Islam, submit to its rule and pay a religious levy, or be put to death if they stayed.Most people in the West would be surprised by the answer to the question: who are the most persecuted people in the world?According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular group with members in 38 states worldwide, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians.He compared it with Jewish pogroms in Europe and said he was "appalled at the lack of protest it has evoked".Why is this in a culture that is happy to make public protest against the ferocity of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza or the behaviour of Russia in Ukraine?How many atrocities must we endure before somebody, somewhere, comes to our aid?

The fanatics arrived at her home and told her they would cut off her head with a sword.

Throughout much of her pregnancy, she had been in prison in Khartoum, capital of the Republic Sudan, living with the dread expectation that she would be hanged once her baby was born.

Her crime was that she had married a Christian and been accused by the authorities of apostasy, renouncing her faith, even though she maintained she had never been a Muslim in the first place.

America's most prominent religious journalist, John L Allen Jnr, has just published The Global War on Christians.

The former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks told the House of Lords recently that the suffering of Middle East Christians is "one of the crimes against humanity of our time".

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