ISIS Defeated, Christians Still Face Uncertain Future in Iraq

 

Although the United States and other coalition forces have driven ISIS from Iraqi cities like Mosul, the task of rebuilding remains enormous.

Plus, what will become of the persecuted Christians?

 

U.S. Army Col. Ryan Dilion with Operation Inherent Resolve said, "Over the last three years, through Iraqi determination ISIS has been on a decreasingly rapid decline losing Tikrit, Ramadi, Fallujah, and now Mosul. Iraqi security forces on the other hand have only improved and gotten stronger."

 

However, the suffering remains widespread and the devastation is on a massive scale. Buildings have been reduced to rubble, and smoke from occasional air strikes is still rising into the sky.

 

Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, said, "We were over there back in April and what we saw was Isis spray painted each home. The homes were marked either a Shea home, a Sunni home or a Christian home. If it was Shea or Christian they put a barrel of oil in it and lit it on fire. You can imagine what that does to a structure."

International Christian Concern is a non-profit organization which acts as a bridge between believers in free countries and those in persecuted countries.

 

Just back from Iraq, King says rebuilding and giving viability to the people will be far beyond the capabilities of the Iraqi authorities. That's especially true for thousands of Christians and other religious minorities forced from their homes by ISIS, many with only the clothes on their backs.

 

His team took pictures, which shows images of Jesus used as target practice by ISIS fighters.

 

In another church, the statue of Mary was shot up to the point only pieces of her face remained.

 

"We saw these images over and over," recalled King. "Generally the idea is desecrate. They want to push the Christians out. If they are not going to convert to Islam they want them out of the country and out of the area."

 

King says much the U.S aid is channeled away from Christians once it gets to Iraq due to the dominant Muslim religion. So his organization works with Capitol Hill lawmakers to specifically help Christians in the war-torn region.

 

King says statistics show that of the 1.5 million Christians calling Iraq home in 2003, only about 250,000 remain.

 

King says the majority of Christians his workers spoke with want to come back. They just need the new government of Iraq to protect them.

"When that help comes, that touch comes," he said, "they praise God like crazy and they say 'we part of something so big.'"

 

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(c) 2017 CBN News

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