Iraqi Christians Fear Fallout from Kurdish Independence Referendum
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2017 Oct 05
Iraqi Christians are concerned that the recent referendum for Kurdish independence could threaten their existence.
The Kurds are often at odds with the Iraqi government and recently voted for independence. Although 93 percent voted in favor of the measure, the Iraqi government has dismissed its legitimacy, according to ChristianToday.com.
Christians fear that, should the conflict between the Iraqi government and the Kurds escalate, they would be caught in the middle.
“We cannot hide our concern that the situation for the Christians has become very difficult and leads to uncertainty,” five senior Catholic and Orthodox bishops said in a statement. “This situation has created in Christians a state of fear and concern about the possibility that the struggle may develop into a crisis that will have far-reaching repercussions for all.”
In addition to possibly being affected by this conflict, many of Iraq’s Christians are still working to rebuild their homes and communities after they were ravaged by ISIS.
“Our vulnerable community cannot withstand further schism and division in addition to the ongoing political and sectarian fights,” the bishops pleaded, adding, “Undoubtedly, we Christians can never forget how our brothers in Kurdistan Region, as a people and government, received us and supported our displaced persons, not only Christians but also other components of the Iraqi people.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images
Publication date: October 5, 2017