“Extremist political Islam is growing in the Middle East,” prompting Christians to flee and causing death and upheaval among Christians and moderate Muslims alike, said the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church. At a conference in Rome on Dec. 14, Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad said moderate Muslims must be more courageous in defending a pluralistic Middle East, and the region’s Catholics should consider writing a document that explains to Muslims the Christian faith and the importance of religious freedom. More than 10 years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, “we don’t have security yet,” the patriarch said. “In 2013 alone, 6,200 persons were killed. There are daily attacks, explosions, kidnappings and murders.” In 1987, Iraq was home to more than 1.2 million Christians. “Today,” he said, “less than half remain. Even more troubling is that the numbers continue dropping.” Throughout the Middle East, he said, fighting among different Muslim groups has created openings for extremist Muslims, threatening even simple tolerance of Christians and making full religious freedom a distant dream for many.