Christians say defeating ISIS still won’t make Iraq safe for minorities

  • Written by:

Lorraine Caballero
Christians in Iraq say their homeland will still not be a safe place for them to live in even after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is defeated.
ISIS is currently suffering a series of military defeats as the Iraqi government forces intensify their efforts to retake the terror group stronghold in Mosul. However, displaced Iraqi Christians say minorities still will not be able to live safely in the country even if the jihadists are defeated and many of them would rather start anew abroad, the Military Times reports.
(Reuters/Khalid al Mousily)Iraqi Christians pray as they attend a Good Friday mass at a church in Baghdad, March 25, 2016.

Some Iraqi Christian families say they will return to their homeland after ISIs is defeated, but many of them would rather live in another country because the conflicts in Iraq have shaken the future of the minority groups.

“If organized migration were possible, then I can say that 90 per cent of the inhabitants of this camp would leave,” camp manager Fr. Emanuel Adel Kelo said.

For Raad Bahnam Samaan, who fled from Qaraqosh in August 2014 with his wife and five children, there would be nothing left of their house even if they returned a few years from now. He says his family has no future there.

Meanwhile, some Christians have vowed to stay in Iraq and help rebuild the country after ISIS is crushed, according to a new report titled “Hope for the Middle East,” the Assyrian International News Agency relays.

Zoe Smith from Open Doors told Premier that the report emphasizes the Christian church’s strong history in Iraq and its role in building up society. She said the church has served as the glue that keeps society together in the Middle East.

The report hopes to draw more attention to the Iraqi Christians who have chosen to stay and rebuild after the ISIS is driven away from the land. Smith noted that more effort has been poured into telling the story of the persecuted Christians.