Fr. Imad Twal: Displaced Christians

Posted on Jan 19, 2015


While a small number of Christians have inhabited Iraq for over 2,000 years, the multiple political conflicts and changes in Iraq have resulted in their displacement and emigration. However, the taking control of Sinjar and Mosul Dam in northern Iraq by the ISIS jihadists has led hundreds of thousands of religious minorities, among which were about one hundred thousand Christians, to leave their homes.This is one of the worst displacements Iraqi Christians have experienced. They left their homes  with three choices: convert to Islam, pay  jizya  (a poll tax levied onnon-Muslims),  or  die  at  the hands  of  the Islamic State  of  Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), now called IS.IS have marked Christian houses in Mosul with the phrase “property of the IslamicState” and an Arabic mark for “Nazirite”.

More  than  200  Christian  families  have  been  fleeing  Mosul  as  IS  militants confiscated their belongings, including cars, money, medicine, and food.

Where to Go?

This is first question that came to their minds, leaving homes with only the clothes they were wearing. Jordan has welcomed about 1000 Iraqi Christians. Our Lady of Peace Center in cooperation with Caritas has opened its doors to welcome  about  one  hundred  Christians  from  22  Iraqi  families.  The  children number 35: 4 ranging in age from the 1 month to 2 years, 21 from 2 to 12 years, 10from 12 to 18 and the rest are parents and old people.These Christians need not only a place to stay but the simplest basic needs since they  have  fled  their  home  with  practically  nothing.  Fr.  Imad  Twal  General Administrator  of  the  Latin  Patriarchate  of  Jerusalem (LPJ)  and  previous  director  of OLPC has personally visited them, expressed his support and prayers for them and,most of all, reaffirmed the real desire of LPJ to help them.

Father Imad Twal, General Administrator, Latin Patriachate of Jerusalem