The Iraqi Christians between annihilation, destroying their remnants and facing genocide
Poet, Human rights activist and defender of minority rights
Nineveh plain / Iraq
It’s known worldwide that the origin of Iraq is Assyrian then Chaldean then Syriac, and these groups of people have spread across this land starting from the Assyrian empire and then the Chaldean and Syriac empires, the three empires merged together culturally and made Mesopotamia which is known today as Iraq, Syria and parts of Turkey and Iran.
After the coming of Jesus Christ the Syriac Assyrian Chaldean people converted to Christianity and started spreading this religion across these lands.
Christians in Iraq:
After the spread of Christianity in Iraq the Chaldeand Assyrian Syriac Christians started building monasteries and churches in a special style which was consistent with their great civilization and these buildings were spread across Iraq and the people lived a peaceful life and preserved the lands on which they lived, bringing prosperity and peace upon these lands, but after the Islamic invasion, Muslims changed the demographic distributions in these lands by committing massive genocides and mass murders against the indigenous people and forcing most people to convert to their ideology by the sword, also many churches and monasteries were destroyed and Muslims settled in these Christian lands and change their demography, also after that the Kurds came from the mountains of Turkey, Iran and Russia to northern Iraq and participated in Armenian and Assyrian genocide in 1915 in which more than 1.5 million Christians were massacred, after that came the Semel Massacre in the year 1933 in which more than 500 Christian families were slaughtered and their homes were burned to the ground, following that another massacre was committed against our people in Soraia in the year 1969 and this happened in an area where the majority were Muslim Kurds.
Iraqi Christians suffered from terror, demographic changes to their lands and persecution during Saddam Huseins’ rule, and after this regime was removed by the US the Christians suffered and are still suffering from genocide, since 2003 the Christians have been forced to leave their houses in southern Iraq by Shia militias and in Mousel area by Al-Qaida and they suffered from kidnappings and murders and since 2003 till 2014 I was working on a report about the Christians being killed in these areas and the number was about 763 people including Saidat Al-Najat massacre and the murders of priests and monks and the students bus explosion in Mousel which took place between an Iraqi and a Kurdish check point.
This is a summary of the crimes committed against Iraqi Christians, and lately ISIS has forced the remaining Christians in Mousel and Nineveh plains out of their houses and burned and destroyed most of these houses and many churches, and today the Christians live in tents and caravans and have no future to look forward to and their numbers have dropped form 1.5 million to 275 thousands and their numbers are declining still and they are in danger of disappearing from Iraq.
The violations that Muslim Kurds are conducting against Christians:
- Illegal arrests of the Christian activists
- Trespassing on and stealing Christian lands
- Demographically changing the lands inhabited by Christians
- Stealing the money directed to help Christians specially the IDPs
- Trying to force the people of Nineveh plains to vote for their towns to be part of Kurdistan region against their will since they are IDPs in Kurdish territories.
Crimes and violations committed against Christians by Arab Muslims:
- Forcing Christians out of their homes
- Kidnapping and killing Christians
- Destroying and bombing churches and houses of Christians
- Demographically changing Christian areas
- 73 woman, man and child were kidnapped by ISIS
Internal problems of the Christians themselves:
- The large number of Christian parties and organizations which always compromise with Shia and Kurds when it comes to Christian rights and that led to endangering the existence of Christians in Iraq, also these parties and organizations didn’t do a good job in showing the Christians suffering to the world and are often accused of stealing the aids that are coming from outside to support the Christian cause.
- The division of the Iraqi church into multiple parts and some of which follow the same powers that were the cause of the Christian suffering in Iraq, also the church is often accused of stealing the aids directed to help Christians.
The requirements from the EU and foreign countries to support the Christian existence in Iraq:
- Supporting the safe zone project or internationally protected area project for Christians in Iraq
- Compensating all the Christians who lost their houses because of ISIS
- Supporting the Christian troops on the ground as they supported the Kurdish forces who fled and left the Christian areas to ISIS and the Arabs who killed Christians
- Forcing the Iraqi government and the KRG to give Christians their rights and stop persecuting them
- To stop dealing with the churches and Christian parties and organizations as the representatives of Christians regarding the financial support because it will usually get stolen
Finally I say if you really want to preserve the Christianity in Iraq then you have to support the project of establishing a Christian region in Iraq under international protection otherwise we are facing the danger of the disappearance of Christian’s existence in Iraq.