Iraqi churches destroyed in the three year occupation of Mosul by the terror group Islamic state are now being rebuilt and restored by the govenrment of Iraq .

The governor of the historically strongly Christian region of Nineveh said that the reconstruction of dozens of churches was beginning. Around 40 churches were damaged and 15 of these were completely destroyed.

Christians living in the region continue to face danger in this northern section of Iraw due to the proximity of Kurdish militia.Christians have begun cautiously returning to the western district of the city. As they start to rebuild their homes and lives, the Iraqi government has taken on the responsibility to repair Christian places of worship. Nineveh Municipality has announced that work is “soon” to begin on the ancient church of al-Tahira, the largest in the city. 

More than 75 per cent of Iraq’s Christian population left the country due to anti-Christian violence after the Gulf War, which intensified after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. A mass exodus also took place after the IS conquest of the historically-Christian region in 2014. The continuing presence of Iran-backed Shia militias in northern Iraq, the ongoing threat of terrorism and the refusal of many local Iraqi Muslims to coexist peacefully means returning Christians do not feel safe.

Date published: 14/11/2018
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