Christians and Yazidis in Iraq stand on the brink of extinction

Source: Religion News Service

(RNS) — Astonishingly, for three years U.S. government bureaucrats have refused to help endangered religious minority communities like Christians and Yazidis survive the genocide ISIS began in 2014. These communities stand on the brink of extinction.

As a witness from Iraq testified at a congressional hearing I chaired Tuesday (Oct. 3) — the 10th hearing I have convened on the atrocities — “foreign aid decisions will determine whether Christianity and religious pluralism will survive in Iraq at all.”

The U.S. Agency for International Development is reviewing a proposal from the Nineveh Reconstruction Committee to repair 6,800 religious minority homes damaged or destroyed by ISIS on the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq.

The NRC is an ecumenical partnership between the Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Catholic Church and Syriac Orthodox Church. It has already restored more than 2,200 houses and two towns, enabling more than 11,000 displaced Christians to return home. Two Christian charities, the Knights of Columbus and Aid to the Church in Need, have provided most of the funding, together with support from the government of Hungary. But more is needed.

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