The video above gives an answer to this question
Iraq’s Christians were targeted by ISIS in the following ways – they were forced to renounce their faith and embrace Islam; they were forced to pay an infidel tax known as jizya; they were publicly beheaded, crucified and burned alive at the whim of ISIS courts. All this is well-documented. Indeed, it is the proliferation of evidence, particularly the countless and gruesome videos posted online, which led the UK, US and EU to declare that ISIS committed genocide against the Christians in 2016.
It is strange then that the UN has yet to reach the same conclusion. This week, the United Nations Human Rights Council is in session. Yet again, lobbyists will be presenting evidence to the council in the hope that the UN will finally recognise the persecution of Iraq’s Christians by ISIS as genocide. The reason this is so important is that victims of genocide are given special financial assistance. So far, direct aid from the UN to Iraq’s Christians has not been forthcoming. We hope this changes soon.
A lifeboat for the persecuted
Christians in northern Iraq are returning to destitute towns and villages without running water and electricity. The security situation is precarious, with many still fearing for their safety. We are committed to helping them rebuild. The focus of our Nineveh SEED programme is creating long-term jobs for those who have returned. Equally important is the need for trauma counselling. We are seeking funding to grow these areas of our work. If you would like to support this initiative, please see the giving options below.
In tandem with our development and trauma work, we continue to provide emergency relief to thousands of refugees from across the sectarian divide – Christians, Yazidis, Shabaks and Muslims – all are victims of ISIS. This is done through a trusted network of church partners and local organisations on the ground. We are also funding the medical clinic at St George’s in Baghdad, as well as various education projects. With your support, we continue to be a lifeboat for Christians and other persecuted minorities marooned in their own land.
Voices of Iraq, a powerful new film
If you would like to see our new film ‘Voices of Iraq – Stories of Trauma, Survival and Hope’, please get in touch. The film premiered at Westminster Abbey earlier this month to a packed audience. It was very well-received and a number of churches have already been in touch asking us to show it.
Supporting our work in the Middle East
To make a donation now visit the donate page on our website (there are numerous options for how to donate). Or you can send us a cheque made out to ‘FRRME’ to: FRRME, PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 9DL, United Kingdom. To support our future work, please consider leaving a legacy (more info about that here). Thank you!