Archbishop of Erbil: Iraqi Christian Refugees are Losing Hope of Returning Home

A girl from the Yazidi sect who has fled violence in Sinjar and now waits on the Iraqi/Syrian border. ((Photo: Reuters/Yousseff Boudlal))

Thousands of Iraqi Christians are still fleeing their country even though the humanitarian situation for the displaced has improved, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil has told Aid to the Church in Need.

Growing numbers of Iraqi Christians forced out of their homes by ISIS are leaving the country as hopes fade that they will be able to return home, he said.

"Last year we had 13,500 registered Christian refugee families in our archdiocese. Now there are only about 10,000 left. This means that more than 3,000 families have left Iraq."

During the summer of 2014 more than 125,000 Christians arrived in the Kurdish region of Iraq after Islamist extremists seized Mosul and the Ninevah Plains.

Over a year later, many of these refugees are losing hope in their ability to return home and are choosing to leave the camps, despite improved conditions.

"The humanitarian situation has in the meantime been stabilised. No one has to live in tents anymore, as they did last year. The majority is now living in caravans or flats that we have rented," Archbishop Warda said.

This article was originally published in Christian Today.

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