I have just learned (from a German news Web site) that for the past week Christians in the city of Mosul have been under attack and a dozen or so have been murdered. 50 families have fled and found refuge in Kurdish villages near Mosul.
Mosul is a Kurdish city that lies outside the official Kurdish region. Like Kirkuk it is a mixed city. Since it lies outside the official Kurdish region, the Peshmerga are not in control of the city. I have seen cities they control and those cities are _safe_.
But Mosul is not safe. It's a few kilometres north of where I was.
By "not safe" I mean that violent crime is at high levels. At the same time I would rate several American and European cities as "not safe".
Kurds have a very high opinion of Christians and want Christians to live in Kurdistan. That's why the Kurds in the villages came to those 50 families' help. Many Kurdish towns have Christian quarters and Christians (like Jews) do not have to follow Islamic law regarding Ramadan and other issues. In Erbil Christians (as well as Jews, but that's largely academic) could legally eat openly in the streets during Ramadan, as could children of any faith. Within the Christian quarters anybody could legally eat openly during Ramadan. (Note that the rule only applies on the open street. Anybody could eat at home or in restaurants that couldn't be seen from the street. Most restaurants simply put up flags and posters around their windows so that nobody would be bothered by people eating behind them.)
The only criticism of Christians I heard in Erbil was that many Kurds lamented that Christians don't speak "Christian" (Aramaic) as much as they used to. Kurdistan wants to be understood as a tolerant multi-cultural society and Kurds value highly the ancient differences between peoples and sects.