Bashar Warda, Catholic archbishop of Erbil in Iraq said that he and his country men are need of help. He said that they need more than words now and it is time for an action.
Archbishop Warda told that in fighting with ISIS militants about 14,000 Christian families’ homes in Nineveh province were either destroyed or damaged.
He estimated that it will take about $262 million to rebuild their homes and roads and to restore water and electricity in the province. The Bishop told that when they turned to the Iraqi government, the government refused to help saying that they did not have money. Therefore The Bishop Warda had to turn to the White House for help.
Bishop Warda pleaded that the Iraqi Christians need President Trump’s help now, not tomorrow.
Bishop Warda reminded that Vice President Mike Pence admitted in his speech a month ago that Christians and persecuted peoples of the Middle East are not being got the relief. Bishop Warda said that the aid has still to reach those most affected communities.”The delay is not helping us,” Bishop Warda said.
When ISIS (Islamic State of Iran and Syria) took control of the town, around 100,000 Iraqi Christians escaped to the Nineveh province, while most of them fled to north finding safe harbor among the Kurds.
But now a retired U.S. general worries about Iran’s growing influence especially in Kurdistan. He could threaten the existence of Iraq’s Christians.
Christian communities are in danger. They can be prevented from militants until they are with Kurdish in north Iraq, said Lt. Gen. Jay Garner. Moreover, he said that America step in and support the Kurds then it can they can protect them and the Christians will remain there.
“If we don’t do that, then the Kurds will have no choice but to become Iranian proxies and once that happens the Christians will have to leave,” Garner said.
Before war made Iraq a bloody sectarian conflict in 2003, it was home to over 1.5 million Christians. According to a rough estimation 200,000 Christians are remained in Iraq and the Kurdistan region because many have fled to neighboring Lebanon, Europe and the United States.