Who is to blame for ISIS?

On the eve of the Iraqi election, we interviewed three women about their hopes and fears for the future. Sally, Rashel and Rahma are all students at the Catholic University in Erbil. They were driven from their homes in Qaraqosh when ISIS came. They all expressed disappointment with the government in Baghdad which they blame for the rise of ISIS.

Christians in Iraq face a stark reality

Tomorrow’s election is the first since the terror group was defeated. A failure to address the problems which led to ISIS – corruption, unemployment, sectarianism – could plunge the country into another war. While the future of the country hangs in the balance, we are advocating for more help for displaced Christians. While they are starting to return to their homes, the Christians receive little support from the Iraqi government or international community. Without the support of churches and charities in the West, the Christians in Iraq face an uncertain future.

A Christian village in northern Iraq which our team visited in April

Faith keeps hope alive

Most of the Christians we have interviewed in Iraq are scared for the future. They worry that ISIS or some new group will attack them. However, there is hope too. Rashel, one of the women we interviewed in Erbil, said: “God knows everything about us. He didn’t leave us in the middle of our difficulties. I have faith in God. Everything will be okay.”

Faith is everything to Rashel

Christians in Iraq are one of the oldest continuous Christian communities in the world. They can trace their lineage back to Thomas the Apostle. They came very close to extinction under ISIS. We pray that whoever wins the election tomorrow, the plight of Christians and the minority Yazidis, Mandeans and Shabaks will improve. In the meantime, we will continue to support them.

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