'Chance to thrive': Iraqi Christians return after decades of hardship
Iraq has one of the oldest continuous Christian communities in the world, but the population has shrunk dramatically in the sectarian fighting and political uncertainty that followed the U.S. invasion in 2003 and the sudden emergence of the radical Islamist ISIS a decade later. But there are signs of a comeback for those who have held on throughout the turmoil.
In Irbil, churches are being built and a Christian has been appointed minister of transportation and communications. Ano Jawhar Abdulmaseeh is a proud and jovial member of the community. His office is decorated with images of Christian history of the region that dates back almost 2,000 years.
He explained that Christianity came to the region with St. Thomas the Apostle but that Christians have faced many persecutions in the past century. These include pogroms against Chaldeans, Syriacs and Assyrians, the diverse communities in this area....
What I've seen from World Magazine, which has had reporters on scene, is not overly optimistic. ISIS has scattered and demolished much of what was in existence, still prompting much fear. Promised US aid isn't well spent. And these communities are necessarily thriving. Still, the Lord is good. He is more than capable of rebuilding communities while providing a witness for Himself and calling more to Himself through the sufferings of His people. We need to pray for these brother and sisters. They have endured horrors far, far beyond what piddling nonsense we face here in the West.