Iraq is tragically going through another turmoil, this time focused on Mosul and the nearby northern region. In his interview last Wednesday 11th June with the Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, the Chaldean Archbishop, Emil Nona said that he thought Mosul’s last remaining Christians had now left a city which until 2003 was home to 35,000 faithful.
"The Christians are among 500,000 thought to have fled Mosul whose overthrow yesterday is now followed by news today (Wed, 11th June) of militant attacks on the Iraqi city of Tikrit 95 miles north of the capital, Baghdad".
Describing reports of attacks to four churches and a monastery in Mosul, the archbishop, 46, said: “We received threats… [and] now all the faithful have fled the city. I wonder if they will ever return there.
The archbishop, who in the ensuing crisis sought sanctuary in Tal Kayf, a village two miles from Mosul, described how the local community were doing their best to provide for crowds of people flooding out of the city and into the surrounding Nineveh plains, where there are a number of ancient Christian villages.
“Up at 5am yesterday [Tuesday, 10th June] morning we welcomed families on the run and we have tried to find accommodation in schools, classrooms and empty houses".
He said: “We have never seen anything like this – a large city such as Mosul attacked and in chaos.
He said that in the 11 years following the 2003 US-led overthrow of Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein, Christians in Mosul had declined from 35,000 to 3,000 and that “now there is probably no one left.
On Thursday 12th June, ICIN Trustee, Suha Rassam spoke with archbishop Nona, who confirmed the urgent need for our prayers and financial aid to all those who fled from Mosul and are being housed in schools, churches and mosques.
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