Iraq Persecution: Christians wary of outsiders arriving their community

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Traumatized by the invasion of ISIS in 2014, Christians in Iraq remain nervous of outsiders, International Christian Concern reports. Constituting one of the oldest believing communities in the world, the Christians of Bartella near Mosul are reportedly wary of the influx of new arrivals to their district.

Bartella Christians were heavily persecuted by ISIS, and many families fled to Kurdish northern Iraq in order to survive. While some Christian families have since returned to their town, they now constitute a minority faith group there; indeed half of those who left did not return, ICC reports.

One group to arrive in Bartella are the Shabaks, who have also been persecuted by Islamic extremists: they have said they want to live in unity with other faiths, and they see common cause with Christians against Islamic extremists.

However, ICC reports: “Following the terror of the Islamic State, Bartella residents are wary of outsiders that are not part of their ancient communities, unsure of what they may bring to the town.”

Moreover, Iraqi Christians who managed to hang on and stay during the ISIS invasion of 2014 now reportedly fear the return of that terrorist group to their region. According to United States reports, the Islamic State remains a persistent low-level threat and while generally maintaining a low profile, is exploiting the regional weakness to rebuild,” ICC said.