18 November 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 11/14/2017, 11.35

    IRAQ

    Iraqi Priest: Situation for Christians in Mosul worse than when Isis arrived



    Arab-Kurdish and Sunnis-Shia clashes hinder the return of refugees. High danger of new violence, families spend the night in their cars and the children are traumatized. Fr Samir: serious economic problems, lack of food and heating oil, while governments and NGOs have suspended aid.  We need a "miracle".

    Erbil (AsiaNews) - The situation of Christians "is worse than the arrival of ISIS" because they are "caught up in this clash between Arabs and Kurds, Shiites and Sunni," which "hinders" the return of refugees to Mosul and the Nineveh plain, and "there is no longer any help".

    Fr. Samir Youssef, pastor of the diocese of Amadiya (Kurdistan), tells AsiaNews that part of the Christian families have "returned to Alqosh and Dohuk" for fear of violence in the Nineveh plain.  "They spent two nights in the car, or delayed their departure for the danger of new clashes. There are cases of children traumatized by the violence in Teleskof. "

    Fr. Samir, who cares for 3500 families of Christian, Muslims, yazids refugees who fled their homes in the summer of 2014 with the rise of the Islamic State (IS, formerly Isis) reports that "even Christians begin to be afraid ". The fear is of "a Kurdish response" with "new attacks" that will eventually target "both Christians and Yazidis." “We are not for or against any party," the priest adds, "we just want to live in peace with everyone."

    Christians have always been a force for dialogue, a bridge between the various cultures and ethnicities that characterize Iraq. And Christian personalities have even held the roles of ministers for Culture or Health in the recent history of the country. Although only 2/3% of the population are Christian, the minority has played an essential role "at a cultural level" but "is increasingly entrenched in conflict".

    This turn in events is evidenced by the recent history of Fr. Samir’s own family, which has had to change home, city and region many times to escape violence. "First to Kurdistan - the priest remembers - then the Kurdish Revolution for Independence pushed us to Mosul. With the beginning of the war, we went to Baghdad, to return to Mosul and again to Iraqi Kurdistan, with the arrival of Islamic extremists." "From 2006 to today - he adds - 40 churches have been destroyed between Mosul, Baghdad and Basra; more than 1200 people have been killed merely for being Christian. "

    Fr. Samir, among the main advocates of AsiaNews campaign "Adopt a Christian in Mosul," emphasizes that "in Kurdistan Christians had begun to live" and the defeat of Isis had hoped to return to their lands of origin . "Now we are overwhelmed - he confesses - by a state of fear, we live under threat. Facing a new instability, we do not know where to go, what to do ... ".

    Meanwhile, Christians - spared the devastating earthquake that struck the region - "have to deal with the increasingly pressing economic issues". "There are no wages - says Fr. Samir - and there are several families of refugees who have no money to buy essential goods. Until recently, mini-markets sold goods for $ 2,000 a day, today they are struggling to get 200. Staff are fired, whole families are out of work and it's getting harder. "

    "With the help programs started - the priest says - we try to contribute to the livelihood of families, but we too are struggling to find funds. Now the winter is coming with the cold. Last year, we had already distributed two or three barrels of kerosene, this year still nothing. Even the delivery of food is suspended, we have nothing more. "

    From a certain point of view, he admits, "The situation is worse than when Isis arrived, because then governments and NGOs helped us. Closing airports in Kurdistan complicates the situation and only 30% of the refugees have been able to return to their homes. " Wages have also fallen, ranging from a thousand dollars before "to the current 300" because of "the tightening of Baghdad tax on funds destined for the Kurdish region. And then there are rents, school ... “. Fr. Samir concludes: “the Church helps as best it can, but what we really need is a miracle."(DS)

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    07/04/2016 13:24:00 IRAQ
    Easter among the refugees from Mosul (photo gallery)


    23/03/2016 15:01:00 IRAQ
    Easter solidarity: from Mosul refugees to the poorest families

    Don Paul Thabit Mekko, in charge of the refugee camp "Eyes of Erbil" speaks of Holy Week. The community organizes fundraising and money to be donated to the poorest Christian and Muslim families. The desire to revive traditions and songs of native villages, praying to one day return to their homes. The community keeps hope alive.



    14/06/2017 18:59:00 IRAQ
    For Iraqi priest, the first Christian refugees will return home in Karemlash, in the Nineveh Plain

    Fr Paul talks about the town’s reconstruction by local workers. The plan will first deal with houses with minor damages. If the aid continues, the work should continue "smoothly", but more money is needed to rebuild the most damaged houses. “We shall rise again when we return to Karemlash,” many residents say.

     



    21/03/2017 09:31:00 IRAQ
    Mosul government advance continues, over 180 thousand civilians flee the western area

    Most of the displaced have found their home in the refugee camps or in shelters set up in recent weeks. Worried about the fate of those trapped in the Old City. UN sources: No food, water, electricity, and medicine. Up to 320 thousand people ready to flee. About 2 thousand jihadists of the Islamic State still operating in the area.



    12/07/2017 14:15:00 IRAQ
    Mar Sako: After the liberation of Mosul, erase jihadist ideology and build peace

    The Chaldean Patriarch expresses appreciation for the efforts of the Iraqi army and Peshmerga that led to victory in the former stronghold of the Caliphate. He outlines the "long and tiring" road that leads to lasting security. Still isolated episodes of violence in the city. Iraqi Prime: Living together with our "Christian brothers and sisters" is the "natural response" to Daesh. No confirmation of al- Baghdadi’s death.





    Editor's choices

    HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
    Mass for a deceased underground priest. Card. Zen asks for God ‘s grace to save the Church in China and the Holy See from the 'precipice'

    Li Yuan

    Fr. Wei Heping, 41, died in mysterious circumstances, his body dumped in a river in Taiyuan (Shanxi). For the police claim he committed suicide. Family members are not allowed to even see the autopsy report. For Card. Zen the Holy See (which "is not necessarily the Pope") seeks a compromise at all costs with the Chinese government, risking "to sell out the faithful Church". Justice and Peace publish a booklet about Fr. Wei, not to forget.


    VATICAN - ITALY
    Pope: No more war, its only fruit is death, 'our self-destruction'



    Marking the Feast of All Souls, Francis celebrated Mass at the American Cemetery in Nettuno. "When so many times in history men think of a war, they are convinced of bringing a new world, they are convinced of making a 'spring'. It ends in a winter, ugly, cruel, with the reign of terror and death."


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®