A senior Iraqi bishop has said the liberation of the western part of the Nineveh Plains from Daesh (ISIS) is “a sign of hope for us Christians.” More than 600 displaced Christian families from Kurdish communities are returning home after being driven out of their towns and villages in northern Iraq by the jihadist group. Syriac Catholic Archbishop, Petros Mouche, told Christian charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that people have already started to rebuild their lives.
He said: “Some have found work or started restaurants, shops and trade businesses. It takes a lot of courage to start from scratch again. “For us Syriac Catholic Christians in Iraq, liberation is of course a cause for great joy because the vast majority of my diocese was staying in the environs of Mosul and in Qaraqosh.” Syriac Catholics made up 60 per cent of 150,000 Christians and others forced to flee to Erbil from the Nineveh Plains and Mosul due to violence from ISIS. An ACN survey showed there is damage and destruction to nearly 13,000 dwellings across nine predominantly Christian villages in Nineveh. Despite this, the Iraqi archbishop spoke of a “great hope that life will begin all over again”.
Archbishop Mouche also highlighted the need to change the mindset of those attracted to Islamist extremism. He added: “We have to be able to live together. We are all sick of war. Wars have been fought in Iraq off and on since 1958. We have to learn how to live in peace.” Regina Lynch, ACN’s Head of Projects, said: “This is a crucial moment in the history of the Iraqi Christians and we must support those who are now returning to their villages as much as we can. At the same time, we must pray for reconciliation to lay a new foundation that ensures a future for the Christians in Iraq.”
Source: Premier News
Bible Study: Psalm 46:1-11
JANUARY Thank God for new found hope among returning Christians.
PRAY for others returning from refugee camps where Christians served them and opened up God’s Word. May they carry His Word back to their communities and start afresh in Christ.