Security Challenges Impact Iraqi Christians Return

02/16/2019 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – The security situation in previously held ISIS territory continues to remain fluid, impacting rebuilding efforts and causing Christian returnees to again leave their homes as internally displaced persons (IDPs), reports Rudaw.

The Rudaw report specifically highlights the Zayoona camp, which has seen a number of displaced Christians return back after attempting to rebuild their lives in the Nineveh Plains. This repeated displacement has had a long-lasting impact on the desire of Christians to remain in Iraq. Many have relatives living outside of the country, creating a strong sense of loneliness and isolation throughout displacement.

Meanwhile, ISIS continues to cause security problems just south of the Nineveh Plains, which is where most of Iraq’s Christians live. Recently, the Iraqi army and Nineveh Police joined forces to conduct a security operation just south of Mosul. During this operation, 4 members of ISIS were killed and 30 civilians freed.

Although ISIS was declared militarily defeated in December 2017, sleeper cells continue throughout the region. Their presence and competing militias create a worrisome atmosphere for Christians otherwise interested in returning home.