US help needed to preserve Christianity in Iraq, says former congressman

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Lorraine Caballero
Christians in Iraq still need the help of the United States in preventing both the extinction of their faith in their country and the destabilization of the Middle East that it will cause, former Virginia congressman Frank R. Wolf said in a report.
(REUTERS / Khalid al Mousily)Iraqi Christians attend a Good Friday service at a church in Baghdad March 25, 2016.

Wolf had recently traveled to Iraq together with Christian Solidarity Worldwide to assess the status of Christians and Yazidis there. In a report from the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, the former U.S. congressman said Christianity would be wiped off the face of Iraq in a few years if America does not take concrete action to address the dwindling number of believers in the region, the Catholic News Agency relayed.

“If nothing is done, I believe that we will see the end of ancient Christianity in Iraq within a few years,” said Wolf in the report.

He noted: “In 2003, the Christians in Iraq numbered 1.5 million. Today, that number has decreased to what most estimate is 250,000, although some argue the number is down to 150,000.”

In addition, Wolf explained the importance of U.S. action on the situation in the Middle East. He said the loss of Christianity in the Middle East would fuel further destabilization in the region and also presents a threat to America’s national security.

In light of the situation, Wolf called on the U.S. Senate to pass the Iraq and Syria Genocide Accountability Act, which would authorize the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to fund aid for the Islamic State’s victims of genocide. The measure also authorizes support for the investigation of ISIS members and others responsible for war crimes against religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East.

However, the Iraqi Christians came home to find the total devastation of their homes, businesses, churches, and other infrastructures. For this reason, they need a lot of help and support in rebuilding their lives and bringing the communities back to their previous state before ISIS overran the region.