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ICC Note: With over a hundred thousand Christians believed to be among the more than 1 million displaced by ISIS in Iraq, many of them are concerned that they will not ever be able to return home. They have serious concerns about their security and have lost faith in the Iraqi or Kurdish security forces to provide protection.

09/22/2014 Iraq (National Review) – “I cannot sleep because of the sound of bombs in my head,” says Evan Faraj-Tobea, an Iraqi who until recently worked as an English teacher in Qaraqosh, widely considered Iraq’s most Christian city.

Evan and his wife of one year fled the city in June, then returned when they thought threat of the Islamic State had abated. But on August 6, he says, the terror group attacked. One bomb killed two young children, as well as a young woman. Now the couple has left again.

“I saw when they took their bodies to the church,” he tells me. “It was like hell that day. We felt afraid because it was a huge sound. We couldn’t stay in that situation.” He might have stayed to defend the city, but “we don’t have guns,” he says. “We cannot stand [against the Islamic State].”

The Washington Post reported this week that around 120,000 displaced Iraqi Christians have fled to the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. These refugees have lost everything, also enduring a harrowing flight from their homes.

Evan and his wife fled Qaraqosh in a car until they reached a Kurdish checkpoint, then spent six or seven hours on foot, covering around 40 kilometers. Evan took refuge where he could; today, he sleeps in a half-built building in Ainkawa, a Christian suburb of Erbil in Kurdistan. His wife stays two hours away, in Dohuk, and Evan says he hopes to find a place where they can live together again soon.
Despite his Christian faith, Evan says, hanging on to hope is a struggle. In his 31 years, he has experienced more war than peace, despite his fellow believers’ best efforts.

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