Archbishop of Mosul says more than 600 Christian families returning to rebuild lives

  • Written by:

Lorraine Caballero
More than 600 Christian families are making their way back to the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq to rebuild their lives from scratch, the Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Mosul told Christian charity Aid to the Church in Need.
(REUTERS / Alaa Al-Marjani)A priest puts cross on the street of Qaraqosh, near Mosul, during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq. NOV 3, 2016.

For Archbishop Petros Mouche, the liberation of Mosul and the rest of the west Nineveh Plains is a sign of hope for their community. Even though the area has seen a lot of destruction, the Syriac leader said there is hope that Christians will be able to start their lives all over again, The Tablet relayed.

“Some have found work or started restaurants, shops and trade businesses. It takes a lot of courage to start from scratch again,” Archbishop Mouche told CAN.

He later on added: “We have to be able to live together. We are all sick of war. Wars have been fought in Iraq off and on since 1958. We have to learn how to live in peace.”

The atrocities of the Islamic State have forced many of the Syriac Catholics in the Nineveh Plains and Mosul to flee to Erbil. Before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Christians in Iraq numbered 1.5 million, but this figure has reportedly plunged to around 300,000 at the moment.

Meanwhile, the Dominican Sisters in Erbil wrote an open letter that detailed the scene they found when they returned to their convent in the Nineveh Plains in November. They described the damage they came upon and the efforts of the local Christians to rebuild the community, Town Hall reported.

The Dominican Sisters believe that God will be able to raise the Christian community in a way that has never been done before. They said that though the rebuilding process was slow, each week has seen families coming back to their hometowns.

Moreover, the Dominican Sisters said returning to Mosul was not an easy decision because there are a lot of people who still struggle to understand God’s will for their community. Nevertheless, they have chosen to be with their people in this struggle and to pray that the others will gain courage to return and also start their lives from scratch.