Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Iraqi Christian Immigrants May Face Death if U.S. Deports Them

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Jun 13
  • Comments

U.S. government officials are reportedly arresting dozens of Iraqi Christians and getting ready to deport them back to their native country.

The arrests took place in southeastern Michigan, according to The Christian Post. Many Christians are protesting the deportations, warning that sending the Iraqi Christians back to their home country will be a death sentence for them.

Christians in Iraq face severe persecution at the hands of the Islamic State. Several reports have even said that the entire Christian presence in the region is nearly annihilated.

Relatives of those arrested shared their fear and grief. "My dad is Christian and Donald Trump is sending him back to a place that is not safe whatsoever," said 18-year-old Cynthia Barash. "He did something wrong 30 years ago. He didn't do anything today, yesterday, a year ago,” she continued, referring to a time years ago when her father was caught with marijuana.

"If my uncle gets sent back, it's basically sending him to a death sentence, just like everybody else here," shared another Iraqi-American Christian, Jeremiah Suleiman. "We've been here all of our lives," he added.

Immigration officials, however, say that the only people being arrested and are facing deportation are those who have been convicted of crimes.

"As part of ICE's efforts to process the backlog of these individuals, the agency recently arrested a number of Iraqi nationals, all of whom had criminal convictions for crimes including homicide, rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, burglary, drug trafficking, robbery, sex assault, weapons violations and other offenses," said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

But Christian and humanitarian advocates see the case differently. "These are American citizens by all intents and purposes, They're not Iraqis. If they are put back to Iraq they face death, simple as that. A lot of individuals don't have families there anymore. They have no protection. Their homes are likely run over by ISIS," stated Lundon Attisha, communications director at the Minority Humanitarian Foundation.

 

Photo: A couple sit beside their fire inside their tent erected in the grounds of Mazar Mar Eillia (Mar Elia) Catholic Church, that has now become home to hundreds of Iraqi Christians who were forced to flee their homes as the Islamic State advanced earlier this year, on December 14, 2014 in Erbil, Iraq. Although the autonomous Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq was already a refuge for an estimated 250,000 Syrian refugees, since the Islamic State began its onslaught on Iraq in June, Kurdistan has also taken in a more than one and a half million displaced people. Many have been placed in purpose-built refugee camps but the huge numbers mean thousands of others are forced to live in un-finished buildings or inadequate, makeshift shelters and as winter in the region closes in, there are growing concerns for the welfare of the refugees who, while their homes are still in ISIL controlled territory, have no realistic prospect of returning to them. Although the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq was already a refuge for an estimated 250,000 Syrian refugees, since the Islamic State began its onslaught on Iraq in June, Kurdistan has also taken in a more than one and a half million displaced people. Many have been placed in purpose-built refugee camps but the huge numbers mean thousands of others are forced to live in un-finished buildings or inadequate, makeshift shelters and as winter in the region closes in, there are growing concerns for the welfare of the refugees who, while their homes are still in ISIL controlled territory, have no realistic prospect of returning to them.

Photo courtesy: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Publication date: June 13, 2017


Follow Crosswalk.com