A Catholic charity has said that despite victories against the Islamic State terror group, unless world leaders make a change, ISIS may still destroy the Christian population in Iraq and Syria.
"We have seen drastic reductions in the Christian populations in many nations in the Middle East. Iraq might very well have lost 80 percent of their native Christian people," Edward Clancy, ACNUSA director of outreach, told The Christian Post in an email interview on Wednesday. "Syria might have lost 50 percent. This is compounded by the fact that Christian families have not been secure enough to have many children. The loss of population and the very low birth rate will put great pressure on the Christian communities.
"If we do not help these ancient Christian communities, ISIS might very well have lost the battles but won the war."
Military forces have managed to take back ISIS strongholds in key cities, such as Raqqa in Syria, which was considered the group’s “capital.”
In ACN’s 2015-2017 report, “Persecuted and Forgotten?,” the group said the persecution of Christians has reached it highest levels. Still, the group said many Christian families have managed to return to their homes as forces drive out ISIS.
"Our solace is knowing that whenever Christians have faced terrible odds, great miracles have happened. Christianity has survived and endured, but we needn't wait for miracles. We can act. We can help. We should do both."
Middle East church leaders said they feel “forgotten” by the international community.
"They need our help. It is more than just guaranteeing property rights for returning families. The security of their communities is a major issue. It is about leaders not being afraid to say that these Christians belong in their ancestral towns and that they deserve to be supported and protected," Clancy said.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Memodozaslan
Publication date: October 19, 2017
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.