Middle-Eastern Christians: ‘We feel the West has forgotten us’

Middle-Eastern Christians: ‘We feel the West has forgotten us’

Middle-Eastern Christians: ‘We feel the West has forgotten us’

Iraqi Christians are pro-Donald Trump largely because of his attitude toward Islam and they despise President Barack Obama.

Middle-Eastern Christians: ‘We feel the West has forgotten us’
Middle-Eastern Christians: ‘We feel the West has forgotten us’

Many Middle-Eastern Christians who have been trapped in refugee camps in Iraq feel abandoned by the West, including Christians in the West, based on a newly released report.

National Catholic Register Rome correspondent Edward Pentin, in his report, after visiting the Kurdistan region Sept. 20-23, described the hardships and hopes of Middle-Eastern Christians who have lived there since being forced out of their homes by the Islamic State (ISIS).

In Pentin’s report, he stated that around 125,000 Christians were forcibly displaced when ISIS launched its northern Iraq offensive, first in predominantly Christian Mosul in June 2014 and then two months later in surrounding towns in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region.

More than 100,000 Assyrian Christians (Syriac Catholics, Syriac Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East, and Chaldean Catholics) were forced to leave their houses and towns that night with less than an hour’s notice. The region also has a large number of Yazidis made homeless by the Islamic State, along with many Shia Muslims who arguably faced the most brutal persecution, Pentin reported.

In one situation, Pentin reported that an Iraqi Christian by the name of Napoleon, his wife, Sana, and their son, Michel, were forced to leave their village near Mosul right after Mass with nothing but their documents. Like many others, they slept on the road the first night, and they recalled that even those who tried to smuggle out some belongings were stripped at ISIS checkpoints and had their possessions removed. However, they were one of the lucky families, ending up in a reasonably sized house near the village of Mangesh, close to Duhok.

Sana, whose brother is a Chaldean bishop in Canada, told Pentin that they feel abandoned by Christians abroad and said, “We feel the West has forgotten us.”

Surprisingly enough, several Iraqi Christians told Pentin that they are pro-Donald Trump largely because of his attitude toward Islam. “They think he’ll do something for them, and they despise President Barack Obama,” said Father Kiely. “Christians tend to blame the United States for the current chaos and destruction and the U.S. has a grave responsibility to set things right.”

Another priest, Father Ioshia Sana, Mangesh’s Chaldean parish priest, who accompanied Pentin and others said, “The Church can only do so much, but Europe and the West “can do great things. Governments can’t just offer aid… they need to find a solution for these poor people, to defend their rights.”

More by Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register.

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