Christians in Iraq

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Iraq has a rich and deep Christian population that has suffered greatly over the last few years. Many have fled in hopes of finding freedom from direct and indirect persecution. Many were unable to leave. Some lost all of their possessions and land. Some lost their lives.

My last tour to Iraq included working in an area with a long standing Christian population. At one point most people (Christians and Muslims alike) had fled to safer locations. Hundreds would be murdered weekly or monthly. Christians and Muslims alike lost their lives. The radical elements would spare no one who would appose their ideology.

Great progress was made during my second tour. The Iraqi people started to join together and unify against the tyranny of the radical groups. They were hungry for change, hungry for peace and the ability to live life and provide for their families. The U.S. forces worked side-by-side with the Iraqi security forces to restore the confidence of the people.

Shops started to open. People began to move back in the the neighborhoods. Hope began to once again enter the hearts of the local population.

This area had five abandoned or bombed Churches and an abandoned seminary and undergraduate college. As Christians returned to their homes they expressed a desire to have a church re-open in their neighborhood. Some would travel to another neighborhood to attend worship; but this can be difficult and dangerous.

Shortly before I was medically evacuated from Iraq, local leaders, who were Muslims, approached us and expressed a desire to help the Christians reestablish a Church in the area. We met with these leaders along with local Christians and worked out a plan for all to help clean up and repair a church that had been bombed by Al Qaeda.

Most Muslims that I have talked with respect the Christians that they know. They have lived peacefully side-by-side for decades. Problems existed for Christians before and under Saddam Hussein; but this was magnified with the rise of radical Islam in Iraq. This present display of support is good for our brothers and sisters in Christ that have suffered so much, especially in the last few years.


About padredavidfell

Priest in the ICCEC. Retired Army Chaplain
This entry was posted in Iraq War Stories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Christians in Iraq

  1. melysa moran says:

    David, thanks for representing these people. sharing knowledge is a great tool to bring about change.

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