At least 38 people are dead and 60 wounded after two bombs went off on Christmas Day in Baghdad. One exploded outside a Catholic church as members of the congregation were leaving a Christmas Day service, while another bomb killed 11 in a market in a Christian neighborhood.

The attacks will likely only incite more anxiety in Iraq’s waning Christian population, which has long been targeted by extremists following the U.S. invasion of the country and the toppling of Saddam Hussein. The population has dwindled down to less than 500,000 from 1.4 million in 2003.

Dr. David Curry, president/CEO of Open Doors USA, said that he believed the violence was part of a deliberate act to remove Christians from the country.

“There is a concerted effort by extremists to drive Christians out of the Middle East,” Curry said in a statement. “Iraq not only is a hostile, volatile environment in general, but often the violence is directed specifically towards Christians. As a result, one of our field workers said that if the exodus of Christians from Iraq continues at the current pace, it is possible there could be no Christians left in Iraq by 2020.”

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