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Christians Who Fled ISIS Face Longterm Future in Refugee Camps

Christians Who Fled ISIS Face Longterm Future in Refugee Camps

Many Christians who fled ISIS violence in Iraq last year are becoming hopeless as they face a long term future in refugee camps. 

Christian Today reports one camp in near Irbil houses 1,700 Syriac Catholic families living in cramped tents and trailers. Chaldean Catholic resident Sahar Mansour said many refugees are losing hope and becoming frustrated, especially the young people. 

"The majority of the young people are thinking to not stay in Irbil anymore and they do their best to flee," Sahar said.

"They tell me things like there is no future here and they can see no future, [they say] that 'we lost one year from our life and that life is important, valuable and it is worth living, but not to live it like this.'"

The refugees live with no money and few possessions. They rely on overseas and church aid for survival. 

Sahar said that the priest who ministers in the refugee camp is “exhausted.” Father Bashar Kthea is a refugee himself, who fled from Qaraqosh.

"You can easily notice the bitterness in Fr Bashar's face or in his voice, but he works with total dedication,” Sahar said.

"He always says that we are created in order to work, that we are soldiers of Christ, that we want to cultivate love and peace, that we want future generations to live better than we lived, and that we do not want to inherit the culture of violence."

Publication date: July 23, 2015