Tens of Thousands of Iraqi Christians Still Living in Fear in Refugee Camps

Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians who have fled their homes in the Nineveh Valley in northern Iraq are still living in refugee camps, and many of them are afraid to return to their hometowns, the Secretary for Inter-Christian Relations for the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov) related at a recent Russia Today press conference.

The Russian Church representative visited Iraq at the end of March, where he met with authorities of the republic and of the Kurdish autonomy, as well as with representatives of various religious movements. Many issues related to humanitarian projects were discussed at these meetings, Fr. Stefan reported.

“We are talking about tens of thousands who left their settlements in the Nineveh Valley. The situation is also compounded by the fact that this region of Iraq is controlled both by the Baghdad government and by the Kurdish autonomy. If Mosul, the center of this area, is controlled by the government, then the valley itself, which is actually north of it, is controlled by the Kurds. It’s a very difficult and complex situation there. There’s often no idea who is responsible for security and who controls this or that settlement,” the hieromonk explained.

He noted that religious minorities in Iraq are helped by several charitable organizations, but many refugees still fear for their lives.

Source: Orthochristian.com