Patriarch Ignatius: Improved security needed to facilitate return of refugees

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Patriarch Ignatius: Improved security needed to facilitate return of refugees

ankawa.com

A lack of security is preventing displaced Christians in Iraq from returning to their areas, the leader of the Syriac Orthodox Church Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II has said.

“The most important reason that prevents[displaced Christians from returning to their areas is that they do not feel safe and secure,” the Patriarch said during a press conference following his arrival in the Kurdistan Region capital.

Members of the Christian faith are estimated to make up about two per cent of the Kurdistan Region’s roughly 5.9 million population. Christians, just like other minority groups in the country, have long suffered persecution in Iraq.

In 2014, when the so-called Islamic State emerged in northern, western, and central Iraq, tens of thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes, with many seeking refuge in the autonomous Kurdish region.

Patriarch Aphrem called on the central government in Baghdad and the regional government in Erbil to do more to protect and provide a peaceful environment for displaced peoples who return to their areas.

Sat, 06/15/2019 - 11:07
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