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Guest by post by Bob Unruh
Number of faith members down 70%
A coalition of leaders from the United States and several European nations is working to identify and bring to justice those radical Islamist militants who enslaved and murdered Christians in Iraq.
A new report in Decision Magazine explains a conference of the “United Nations Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL” met in Erbil, Iraq, to focus on efforts to identify ISIS militants responsible for crimes, largely against Christians, there over recent years.
American troops have been in Iraq essentially since before the demise of dictator Saddam Hussein in the mid-2000s. Christians there have been under extreme persecution by Muslims in power, being displaced from their homes, persecuted and even murdered.
The Decision report said, “Simultaneous to ISIS’ reign of terror in Iraq after most U.S. troops left in 2011, the Christian population, now estimated at between 160,000 and 250,000, largely fled as refugees to the mountainous Kurdish regions of northern Iraq to escape deadly persecution. Two decades ago, the Iraqi Christian population was estimated to be 1.5 million.”
The report noted the Christian leaders who also gathered at the conference were praised by Christian Ritscher, a U.N. special adviser, with, “Your togetherness and your resilience are inspirational, not just to the Christian community in Iraq, but also to us at UNITAD.”
He explained ISIS “thrived on violence, sparing neither the people of Iraq nor their diverse cultures and beliefs. … As we work in pursuit of justice for all victims and survivors, those who suffered from ISIL’s atrocities, we keep in heart and mind one of UNITAD’s core principles: there is no hierarchy in victims.”
He confirmed individual cases are being built against those responsible for the reign of abuse, which included terrorists targeting churches, monasteries, cemeteries, Christian symbols and even archaeological sites.
“The identities of these ISIL members are corroborated by testimonial evidence, ISIL internal documents and case files provided by the Iraqi judiciary,” he confirmed.
The conference also was told, “Christians are the indigenous people of this land and must continue their lives with dignity and security,” International Christian Concern said, quoting, Safeen Dizayee, of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
America’s military reported in 2022 that 886 ISIS terrorists were eliminated during its anti-terrorism operations in Iraq and Syria.
Bashar Warda, the Chaldean archbishop of Erbil, said at a recent summit Christianity in Iraq is at the “very edge of extinction.”
“Should an ancient, peaceful people be allowed to simply perish without comment, without objection?” he asked. “It seems an almost absurd question to ask in these modern times, does it not? Well then, we object. We object that one faith should have the right to kill another. We object.”
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