Iraq’s beleaguered Christians: emerging from the shadows?

Inside Christian communities finally liberated from ISIS

With the ongoing retreat of so-called Islamic State in the face of an Iraqi army offensive, many Christians are speaking of the horror theyendured under the Islamist regime. This week, we report from northern Iraq which has been ravaged by violence and where Christians have been targeted for killing and forced conversions.

With ISIS apparently nearing defeat in Iraq, many Christians who have fled the area to the relative safety of camps in safer regions are making tentative plans to rebuild their lives.

It’ll be a long road to recovery and anything approaching a normal life, but there are signs that Iraq’s Christians in the area once controlled by ISIS are taking the first steps forward.

Iraq’s Christians have suffered persecution for centuries, yet their faith has survived and the community will remain, provided their material needs are met, a Chaldean Catholic bishop has said.

“The story of suffering of Iraqi Christians is an ongoing phenomenon,” Chaldean Bishop Bawai Soro said this week.

“For 2,000 years, it’s a story of suffering, a suffering Church,” he added, a “Church of the martyrs.”