Displaced Iraqi Christians reluctant to return home despite Daesh ouster

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More than a year ago, Baghdad declared defeat of the terrorist group in northern Iraq. But thousands of Christians who fled their homelands in Hamdaneyah, near Mosul city, say they are not convinced.
Iraqi Christians pray during a mass on Christmas at St George Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad, Iraq. (December 25, 2018) (Reuters)

It has been a year since Baghdad declared Daesh’s defeat in northern Iraq.

But the thousands of Christians who fled their homelands in the district of Hamdaneyah, 32km southeast of Mosul, say they’re not convinced.

Fearful of returning, many of them are forced to live in tents and caravans as they cannot afford to rent homes.

“A lot of homes have not been rehabilitated, people lack the money to fix their homes and the government is not offering support,” said a Christian IDP from Qaraqosh, Bernadette Boutros Gergis.

“Even our churches have been burnt and no one has bothered to fix them.”

Altaf Ahmad reports for TRT World from Baghdad.