Iraq: Christian villagers begin rebuilding houses destroyed by ISIS militants

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Thousands of Iraqi Christians who had to run for their lives after the ISIS militants captured large swathes of the country. However, now when the ISIS militants have been driven out of the region, Christians are now looking to reconstruct the damaged houses. ISIS militants had destroyed houses of Christians along with churches in every area that fell into their hands.

Christians in Middle East

In a bid to restore life, one hundred houses will be rebuilt; under this project about 13,000 houses are to be reconstructed. Total estimated cost of this project is about $250 million. The Assyrian Christians are looking to return to their devastated towns and villages and to reconstruct their houses.

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For this reason, an organization Nineveh Reconstruction Committee (NRC), which has been granted funds by the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The project will begin in the Assyrian towns of Bartella, Karamless and Qaraqosh; where either the damaged houses will be repair or completely rebuilt.

Reconstruction of these houses is expected to be completed by the end of summer. An Aid to the Church in Need representative, Joop Koopman told the media, “One hundred is not a large number compared to the many thousands that will eventually be worked on, but it’s a very significant number. It’s a concrete sign that this community is on its way to being rebuilt.”

In line with a survey conducted by the ACN, about 40 percent of Iraqi Christian families; approximately 12,000 men, women, and children had expressed desire to return to their homes in the Nineveh plains region. These families were force to flee when the ISIS militants captured their land.

Executive Director of The Philos Project, Robert Nicholson, stated: “For a long time people have been saying that Iraqi Christians don’t want to return home. Having spoken to many of them, both inside Iraq and around the world, I can tell you that’s absolutely untrue. Many of them would love to come back, and some of them actually are.” The Philos Project is a humanitarian aid organization.

“The big question for all of them is security. Just two years after the Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government abandoned them, weaponless, in the path of ISIS, these Christians are still unsure that anyone has their back,” he said.