What has happened in Basra is a microcosm of the catastrophe that has befallen all of Iraq. After years of strife, by 2014 it was reported that 90% of the Orthodox Christians of the nation had been displaced. Most of them are still refugees and have been unable to return home. The tragedy of this cannot be overstated. Mosul and its environs were home for centuries to a Christian community that dated back to apostolic times. We must pray now that the extinction of Christianity in the area can by God’s grace and mercy be averted.
“Basra Christians Slowly Abandon the City, International Christian Concern, December 14, 2018:
12/14/2018 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – According to a publication by the Barnabas Fund, an estimated one Christian family a month is fleeing Iraq’s southern city of Basra. It is estimated that only 300 Christians remain in Basra, a 90% drop in the population of Christians there….
Southern Iraq is quite tribal and heavily Islamic. When violence erupts, Christians are left in an especially vulnerable situation.
Most of Iraq’s Christians live in the Nineveh Plains, but many have family ties to places elsewhere in Iraq. The Nineveh Plains area had been considered the last place of refuge for Iraq’s Christians. However, the invasion of ISIS in 2014 changed that perspective. Even a year after the declared military defeat of ISIS, security remains a significant concern for Iraq’s Christians.
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