The homes of more than 350 Iraqi Christians in the Mosul area are now being illegally sold and occupied by Muslim residents, according to Iraqi television network al Sumaria. The Iraqi Christians were forced to flee to refugee camps in 2014 after the Mosul area was taken by IS/Daesh. Now, according to al Sumaria, Muslims are using false legal documents to procure these houses, paying nothing to the Christians who own them.
“These illegal residents are taking up residence in these areas under the assumption that their proper Christian owners will not be returning,”
said Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative, Dr. Hyun Sook Foley.
“Even when they do return, the illegal residents’ false documents will make reclaiming property difficult for their rightful Christian owners.”
“What makes this news especially tragic is that the Iraqi Christians are one of the oldest Christian communities in the world,” Representative Foley explains.
“Well-meaning Christians from around the world continue to provide humanitarian aid for Iraqi Christians in the refugee camps. That aid helps keep the Iraqi Christians fed and clothed, but it has not enabled them to return home and restart their lives now that the area has been reclaimed from ISIS. The longer time passes, the less likely it becomes that Iraqi Christians will ever be able to return. These home thefts are just the next step in the process of the de-Christianization of the Ninevah plains.”
Representative Foley says that is why Voice of the Martyrs Korea is partnering with other Voice of the Martyrs organizations around the world to help build a bakery in the nearby town of Nahla that Iraqi Christians can own and operate. Representative Foley says that about 220 Iraqi Christian families escaped to the Nahla valley in Kurdistan when IS invaded in 2014. Presently it takes them three hours to travel to the nearest bakery to buy bread. “Not only will the Nahla bakery offer Christians a source of income,” says Representative Foley, “but it will even give them a safe base from which to reach their non-Christian neighbors, who also have to go a long distance for their daily bread.” Construction of the bakery, which is estimated to cost 125,000,000 KRW, is scheduled to begin in January, to be undertaken by local Christians.
Anyone who wishes to support the bakery project for Iraqi Christians in Nahla Valley can visit Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s project profile at Iraqi Christian Bakery