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“Personally, I am optimistic regarding the future of the Christians on the Nineveh Plains and in Iraq. Through education and cultural dialogue, we can overcome obscurantism and violence.”
In addition to having lost their faith in the future, in the authorities and in a number of their Muslim neighbors—who had initially welcomed ISIS with open arms— Christians are now facing a very precarious economic situation.
“Even if the situation is not very clear, we see the importance of a sign of hope. ACN is determined to help the Christians to stay. Our task is to stand by the people who would like to come back.”
“There is no justice or equality for Christians here; unemployment rates are high here, too. And the ISIS occupation has left a legacy of distrust between Christians and Muslims in the region.”
“God and family are the priority in our everyday lives here. They are faithful to His love, in the midst of the danger from external enemies, and from the internal challenges of modern times that threaten to weaken their traditional faith.”
“The confrontation between the two powers must not escalate.” He added that “Iraq has been suffering from proxy wars for decades; they have torn our country apart.”
“It’s very sad to say, and I’ve said this many times: Christians of the Middle East have not only been abandoned; they have been betrayed by the civilized countries of the West.”
“Christians are the soul of the country and they play a very important role in Middle Eastern societies. They are the peacemakers. Christians work for peace and peaceful co-existence and collaboration for the good of the country.”
Iraq stands at a historic crossroads. The Christian and other minority communities of Iraq stand with – and often beside – Muslim protestors as together they seek a better life, based on equality regardless of religious belief.
ACN hopes that this new initiative will restore hope for Iraq’s remaining Christians—a battered and fragile mere 10 percent of the 1.5 million Christians living in the country prior to 2003, when the US invaded the country. The subsequent civil war saw the religiously motivated murder of at least 1,000 Christians.