10 years after ISIS, Iraqi Christians rebuilding their lives as religious minority

Jun 11, 2024 by

By Christian Today, Christian Post.

Christians in Mosul are marking 10 years since ISIS seized control of the city and surrounding Nineveh Plains, causing thousands to flee in fear.

Over 13,000 Christian families fled to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region rather than stay and face the brutality of ISIS, says Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil. Mosul was finally liberated in 2017 after a fierce battle which left much of the city in ruins.

In the 10 years since ISIS swept in, around 9,000 families have now returned to the Nineveh Plains thanks to international aid that has made the reconstruction of their homes possible, the archbishop told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

“Churches are being filled again,” he said, and “so many children” are preparing for their first Holy Communion.

“All those sad and terrifying memories are still there, but at least [the Christian families] could start building and showing that the future is in [their] hands,” he said.

Despite this progress, “the pressure of being a minority is real” and many Christians have either left Iraq or are planning to leave. The young especially need help to find work. They “ask for jobs, not just to receive donations,” he said.

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