Christian Bishop: Kurdistan is a safe haven for Christians
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A Christian bishop in the Kurdistan Region said that Christians will not be able to go back to Mosul even after its liberation from the Islamic State (IS).
Bishop Rabban al-Qas, in an interview with Kurdistan24 on Wednesday, said that Christians might not be able to go back to their cities and villages in the Nineveh Plain after their areas and the city of Mosul liberated from IS because of the violence they experienced in the hands of their neighbors.
“It is difficult for Christians to be able to go back to normal life inside Mosul as their neighbors destroyed their homes and forced them to leave the city,” al-Qas explained.
Al-Qas told Kurdistan24 that Kurdistan was the only safe haven where Christians were welcomed, adding that “they were warmly welcomed in the host community and in the camps.”
[Bishop Rabban al-Qas, in an interview with Kurdistan24 on October 28, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24)]
He added that “Christians want a civil state in Iraq and Kurdistan, but there is no sign of a civil state in Iraq, unlike in Kurdistan where I believe we can all live peacefully together.”
Regarding the displaced Christians from Nineveh Plain, currently hosted by the Kurdistan Region, al-Qas said that the Iraqi government has not been providing humanitarian assistance to the displaced people, stating that “Only charitable people and the the Kurdistan Regional Government have been supportive of the displaced.”
“Duhok and Erbil governorates have been very helpful in providing humanitarian assistance to the displaced Christians, but Baghdad has not taken care of the Christians,” he told Kurdistan24.
In June 2014, IS emerged in Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq. The group controlled large swaths of territory in the northern country, including Christian populated areas.
According to Hakkari they displaced about 200,000 Christians most of whom are staying in the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by Ava Homa