An alliance of UK-based charities has warned that Christians are being excluded from reconstruction plans for Northern Iraq once the Islamic State has been defeated there.
According to World Watch Monitor: “Iraqi Christians firmly believe that Iraq is their spiritual homeland; their presence dates back at least to the 3rd Century. Before 2003, there were approximately 1.5 million Christians in Iraq, but estimates now range from 200,000 to 500,000.”
After the US invaded Iraq in 2003, many Christians fled Baghdad for northern Iraq, where some towns had been almost 95% Christian, such as the town of Qaraqosh. At the time of the Islamic State’s capture of Mosul in June 2014, estimates report that only 3,000 Christians were left out of the 35,000 that originally lived in the city.
A coalition of 16 UK charities complied an 88-page report entitled Ensuring Equality, that says it’s “clear” that leaders of religious minorities are being excluded from the National Settlement plan being put together by Iraq and other regional powers and later will be presented to the UN.
The report stresses that it is imperative that Christians and other minority populations have support for their political and security concerns so they can feel reassured enough to return to Mosul and other towns on the Nineveh Plain and rebuild their communities and “undertake any reconciliation process.”
This article continues at [Religious Freedom Coalition] Christians Face Exclusion in Iraq Reconstruction Plan