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“We are hated because of being Christians”- Iraqi Christian refugees feel stuck in a state of uncertainty


Iraqi christian refugees in Jordan

“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22

Bearing this verse in mind, the Iraqi Christians say, “The world hates us because we want to exist as Christians.”

A Kurd prelate His Exc. Mgr. Bashar Matti Warda, C.SS.R., Archbishop of Erbil, wrote in a statement sent to fides, “The Church is unable to offer and guarantee the fundamental security that its members need to thrive. It is no secret that hatred of minorities has intensified in certain quarters over the past few years.”

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“It is difficult to understand this hate. We are hated because we persist in wanting to exist as Christians. In other words, we are hated because we persist in demanding a basic human right,” he said.

“Then there are two things that we as a church can do: the first is to pray for all refugees in the world and in Iraq. The second is to use the relationships and social networks to share as part of the Church of Christ as a pulpit to raise awareness about the real risk of our survival as a people,” he added.

“I can not repeat loudly,” he said adding,” that our well-being, as a historical community, is no longer in our hands. The future will come, one way or another, and for us this means waiting to see what sort of help (military aid) arrivals.”

Parallel to his statement, several other Iraqi Christians can be witnessed complaining about the betrayal from the international community. A 67-year-old Christian Hinda Ablahat says, “We’ve lost hope in everything. We’ve been sitting here for a year and nothing has happened.” Another Iraqi Christian Johnny al-Behno says, “Everyone has forgotten us.”

As a result of previous and recent advances from ISIS in the region, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians fled the terror group to neighboring countries. Adding to their despair, they feel struck in halfway house, with really nowhere to go and no real means to earn or support a living.

According to the latest reports by the Associated Press, approximately 7,000 Christians from northern Iraq have fled to Jordan. These refugees have not allowed work in Jordan, while the Western countries are completely ignoring their plight which has left them in midpoint.