Uncertain future for Iraqi Christians despite IS defeat

Source: Premier
Eno Adeogun | 10 July 2017
A Christian charity has warned the future of Iraqi Christians remains uncertain despite the Iraqi government saying the city of Mosul has been liberated from so-called Islamic State (IS).
Uncertain future for Iraqi Christians despite IS defeat
Photo: by ZUMA/REX (3923261b) Iraqi refugees at the Khazair checkpoint Iraqis flee ISIS violence, Khazair, Iraq - 05 Jul 2014

More than 100,000 Christians were driven from their homes in and around Iraq’s second largest city following the jihadist’s capture of the city in 2014. Many were forced to live in internally displaced camps and those that remained faced being captured, forced to convert to Islam, pay a protection fee, or even death.

Rabea, a Christian displaced by IS in 2014, told International Christian Concern (ICC): “As Mosul [is] fully liberated, the government should do something to help the people affected.

“Will the government be able to cover the cost of rebuilding our communities?”

Iraqi soldiers walk in a damaged street as Iraqi forces continue their fight against Islamic State militants in parts of the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Iraqi soldiers walk in a damaged street as Iraqi forces continue their fight against Islamic State militants in parts of the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s declaration of “victory” came a day before Brigadier General Haider Fadhil of the Iraqi Special Forces said his men, closely backed by US-led coalition airstrikes, are continuing to advance and clear territory in the Old City.

Iraqi commanders say they believe hundreds of IS fighters remain inside the neighbourhood and are using their families – including women and children – as human shields.

Iraqi Army soldiers gather to celebrate their gains as their fight against Islamic State militants continues in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Iraqi Army soldiers gather to celebrate their gains as their fight against Islamic State militants continues in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, July 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Father Albert, a Catholic Priest in Baghdad, echoed Rabea’s concerns and told ICC: “ISIS’s capture of Mosul and the Nineveh Plains was more than just an occupation for Christians.

“It’s related to trust. ISIS broke the community and Christians will not be able to mix within the general community anymore. This means many will seek immigration in the long term.”

Christians have lived in Mosul and the surrounding Nineveh Plains for nearly 2,000 years.

William Stark, Regional Manager for ICC, said that while the liberation of Mosul is something to be celebrated, the “long road and difficult road ahead for Iraq’s Christians” remains.

He added: “ISIS was allowed to occupy Mosul and its surrounding towns, some of which were considered Christian safe havens. During this occupation, ISIS not only destroyed much of what these Christians considered the symbols of their community, such as churches and schools, but also the homes these Christians were forced to leave in 2014.

“If bold action is not taken, one of ISIS’s legacies in Iraq could still be driving Christianity out of one of its ancient homelands.”

Система Orphus Do you see a mistake in the text? Highlight it and click: Ctrl + Enter
Since you are here…

…we do have a small request. More and more people visit Orthodoxy and the World website. However, resources for editorial are scarce. In comparison to some mass media, we do not make paid subscription. It is our deepest belief that preaching Christ for money is wrong.

Having said that, Pravmir provides daily articles from an autonomous news service, weekly wall newspaper for churches, lectorium, photos, videos, hosting and servers. Editors and translators work together towards one goal: to make our four websites possible - Pravmir.ru, Neinvalid.ru, Matrony.ru and Pravmir.com. Therefore our request for help is understandable.

For example, 5 dollars a month is it a lot or little? A cup of coffee? It is not that much for a family budget, but it is a significant amount for Pravmir.

If everyone reading Pravmir could donate 5 dollars a month, they would contribute greatly to our ability to spread the word of Christ, Orthodoxy, life's purpose, family and society.

Choose currency:
Other amount
10$
20$
50$
Most popular authors
Dear Friends,

Our website exists owing to your generous assistance, thanks to the funds donated by our beloved readers.

Please assist us in the continuation of our work.