Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

02 May 2016 Asia-Pacific No comments

Indian bishop released after being kidnapped and assaulted by unknown attackers requesting for money

Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah was blindfolded, handcuffed and abducted shortly after celebrating Mass A Catholic bishop in southern India was kidnapped and…

Read more

21 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

Is marrying a relative allowed by the Church?

Full Question Is marrying a relative allowed by the Church? Answer Consanguinity in the direct line (e.g., father-daughter, grandmother-grand…

Read more

20 Aug 2015 Uncategorized No comments

Slovakia ‘will only accept Christian refugees’

Eastern European countries faces EU and UN criticism Slovakia says it will only accept Christian refugees once it takes in Syrians under an EU relocation schem…

Read more

29 Oct 2015 Europe News No comments

Archbishop Tartaglia again on the government over Tax cuts

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the president of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference who last month attacked the British government with his words calling them “mean …

Read more

03 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

The Vatican must speak on conscientious objection

For as long as anyone can remember, the Vatican has had a special genius for snatching public relations defeat from the jaws of victory. Even by that standard, …

Read more

02 Nov 2016 News Comments (1)

Satanists don’t believe in Satan, says Satanic leader

Lucien Greaves said their priorities were personal autonomy and scientific rationalism Satanism is on the increase – but Satanists don’t actually believe in Sa…

Read more

04 Nov 2016 News Comments (1)

Catholic Church will never ordain women priests, says Pope Francis

Francis discussed the ordination of women, refugees and the Venezuela crisis during his latest in-flight press conference The Catholic Church’s insistence that…

Read more

13 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (7)

I heard that praying after receiving Holy Communion is introverted. Is that true?

Full Question More than once at RCIA, I heard that praying after receiving Holy Communion is introverted. Is that true? Answer Such a statement b…

Read more

21 Sep 2015 Americas News No comments

In Cuba, Pope Francis urges youth to hope and dream for the future

Pope Francis set aside his prepared remarks to respond to the dreams and hopes of young people who spoke to him in Cuba on Sunday evening. “I took notes,” he…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Christians say defeating ISIS won’t make Iraq safe for them

Despite military defeats suffered by ISIS, Iraqi Christians say minority groups in the country face further uncertainty

As operations to retake the militant-held city of Mosul ramp up, Iraqi Christians displaced from the area by ISIS group say that even if the militants are defeated militarily, the country will not be safe for minorities.

Qaraqosh, the biggest Christian town on the Nineveh plains in Iraq’s north, fell to ISIS more than two years ago and remains under militant control. Most of its displaced inhabitants are living in camps in Iraq’s Kurdish region. Hundreds of others fled to neighboring countries, Europe, the United States and further afield.

On the edge of Irbil’s historically Christian neighbourhood of Ankawa, 1,200 identical white trailers arranged in neat rows shelter some 5,000 people. A handful of families here say they will return home the day their town is liberated. But many say they would rather leave for abroad. Despite the string of military defeats suffered by ISIS, they say the militants’ incursion into Iraq has thrown the future of the country’s minority groups into further uncertainty.

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

Raad Bahnam Samaan, his wife and five children fled their home in Qaraqosh in early August 2014, joining the 150,000 Iraqi Christians who left towns and villages around Mosul for areas under Kurdish control. In the face of the ISIS advance, Kurdish forces — known as the Peshmerga — largely withdrew from the outskirts of Mosul, and the towns and villages fell rapidly into the militants’ hands.

After months of living in cramped quarters in a dusty camp for displaced civilians, Samaan and his family tried to leave the country through a United Nations resettlement program but without success.

Samaan says the more than two years of being stuck in limbo has dulled his sense of optimism. “There is always hope,” he said of returning home, “but when? Nobody knows. It might be a year, two years, a day, a couple of days. Three or four years from now if we go home there won’t be anything left of our house.”

Christians once constituted a sizeable minority in Iraq but their numbers have dwindled since the 2003 US-led invasion as many have emigrated to the West to escape violence.

“I see no future for us (here),” Samaan said.

His son, Iva, 25, is engaged to be married but the camp is at capacity and he can’t secure a private trailer to share with his wife to be.

“The boys are growing up,” Samaan said, “how can I secure their future?”

When Samaan reflects on what life may be like in a liberated Mosul, he says he worries the upheaval caused by ISIS will have strained sectarian tensions in Iraq beyond repair, making enemies of people who were once his neighbours.

“We’ll still be afraid. I will go to Mosul and I will be afraid because they will say, here comes the Christian,” he said.









wpsd_autopost:
1

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories