(AINA) -- In a television report aired by CNN on 6-19-2004, Christiana Amanpour reported that the Iraqi Christian population is 3%, or 700,000. This figure is a gross under-estimate. The overwhleming majority of Iraqi Christians -- 98% -- are Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans or Syriacs), and their population is 1.5 to 2 million, 8-10% of Iraq's total population. The previous government's figures on the Assyrian population are suspect, especially in light of the fact that the census officials would coerce the Assyrians into identifying themselves as "Arabs" rather than Assyrians. Most Assyrians refused to identify themselves as such, and their numbers were not reported or deliberately misclassified as "Arabs" despite Assyrian objections. The worldwide Assyrian population is shown below.