A Christian Aid group estimates that the cost to rebuild and restore the thousands of homes and churches that have been destroyed by the Islamic State and the fighting in Iraq is $200 million.
According to a report from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic charity that provides help to persecuted Christians, more than 12,000 homes belonging to Christians have been destroyed in just a single region of Iraq. An additional 700 have been destroyed in other areas.
The fighting and presence of Islamic State militants has displaced an estimated 90,000 people. Most have fled the city of Mosul where the fighting still rages and are living in Erbil and the surrounding area.
Erbil is located in Kurdistan, according to Christian Today, and has been a relative safehaven for Christians and others impacted by Islamic State violence.
The area where most homes and buildings have been destroyed is the ancient community of the Nineveh Plain, in northern Iraq, which is close to Mosul, the Islamic State’s last stronghold.
The 14,000 families living as refugees in Erbil are being cared for by Christian humanitarian organization like ACN. Many of them reported having lost valuable possessions and documents along with their homes.
Photo: An Iraqi family who have fled fighting as Iraqi forces advance into Islamic State controlled west Mosul, March 4, 2017. Iraqi forces have encountered stiff resistance with improvised explosives, heavy mortar fire and snipers hampering their advance.
Photo courtesy: Martyn Aim/Getty Images
Publication date: March 30, 2017