Iraqi PM Kadhimi: 'Christians, one of the most authentic members of Iraq'

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Iraqi PM Kadhimi: 'Christians, one of the most authentic members of Iraq'

Agenzia Fides

"Christians represent one of the most authentic components of Iraq, and it saddens us to see them leave the country". With these words, new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi, on behalf of the whole country, expressed bitterness and apprehension due to the silent exodus of Christian communities who for centuries have been living in the territories of ancient Mesopotamia. The externalization of the new prime minister took place during his visit in Mosul and in the Province of Nineveh on Wednesday June 10, six years after Islamic State (ISIS) militants conquered the northern Iraqi metropolis.

During the visit, the prime minister held meetings with representatives of local Christian churches and communities, including the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, Dominican Najib Mikhael Moussa. Chaldean Christian Evan Faeq Yakoub Jabro, recently appointed Minister for Refugees and Migrants in the government led by Mustafa al Kadhimi, was also included in the delegation that accompanied the Prime Minister on his trip to northern Iraq.

Mosul was the de facto capital of the self-styled Islamic State from 2014 to 2017, before being taken by ISIS by a military campaign supported internationally by the United States of America. During the 9-month battle for the recapture of the northern Iraqi metropolis, thousands of civilians died, the further exodus of hundreds of thousands of displaced people and the buildings - including those in the historical part - were largely destroyed.

The prime minister's visit to Mosul and Bartella gave way to some local Christian representatives to re-express their considerations and concerns regarding the progressive alteration of the demographic balance that is taking place precisely in the Nineveh Plain, a region of historical roots of the indigenous Christian communities in the territories of present-day Iraq. Most of the local Christians, who fled their homes in the summer of 2014 in the face of advancing jihadist militias, found refuge in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan and in other Middle Eastern or western countries.

The number of Christians of that province who have returned to their homes remains small, while other components, starting from the Shiites, are taking more spaces in villages and small cities desertificated by the trauma of the ISIS occupation and the subsequent military campaign conducted on several fronts to bring down the Islamic State and regain control of Mosul and the whole Province of Nineveh.

Sat, 06/13/2020 - 11:02
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