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Iraqi Christians determined not to leave amidst risk of persecution


Iraqi Christians who had earlier fled their houses due to advance of ISIS are determined to return and rebuild their houses and cities once again. These Christians who are now living in refugee camps say that there is an ostensible risk of persecution at the hands of the terror outfit Islamic State yet they would prefer not to leave their homeland.

Christian persecution in Iraq

In regard to Christian persecution in Middle East, a Christian advocacy group Open Doors is set to launch a report “Hope for the Middle East” which was prepared in collaboration with Middle East Concern and the University of East London. On October 12, the report will be launched in the British Parliament, it has been stated: “the contributions that Christians have made to the region and looked at healthcare, business, culture and welfare across the centuries.”

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Open Doors disclosed that majority of Iraqi Christians are choosing to stay back in their homeland and are hopeful of rebuilding their country. “Christians are really recognized for reconciliation, they’ve been referred to as the glue that holds society together in the Middle East. We’ve been telling the persecution side for a long time, but we’ve not been telling so loudly the story of those who have chosen to stay,”an Open Doors representative said.

Open Doors quotes an Iraqi Christian saying: “I want my fellow Iraqis to know that we are not guests in Iraq. Our ancestors built this country. Treat me as a sister, not as a guest.”

“Iraq’s religious freedom climate continued to deteriorate in 2015, especially in areas under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ISIL targets anyone who does not espouse its extremist Islamist ideology, but minority religious and ethnic communities, including the Christian, Yazidi, Shi’a, Turkmen, and Shabak communities, are especially vulnerable,” USCIRF stated in its annual report.