Iraqi Christians fear returning home, wary of Shiite militia

BARTELLA, Iraq --- In the main square in the northern Iraqi town of Bartella stands a large cross, one of the few overt signs the town was historically Christian. Nearby, a massive billboard shows Shiite Muslim martyrs alongside a photo of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. Posters of Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen killed in fighting with the Islamic State group hang on streets all around the city, along with banners to revered historical Shiite saints. Thirty years ago, Bartella's population was entirely Christian. Demographic changes over the decades left the town split between Christians and an ethnic group known as Shabak, who are largely Shiites. When the Islamic State group ove...

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