ICC Note: After being abandoned by the Iraqi government, Christians are joining up with their “Muslim Brothers” in militias to fight ISIS. Christians, Muslims, both Sunni and Shi’a, and other minorities have all suffered at the hands of ISIS and they are now joining forces to combat the group. ISIS has driven millions of Christians from their homes across Iraq and Syria while the government has done little to defend its people.
07-13-2015 Iraq (Christian Post): Close to a thousand Iraqi Christians who say they have been abandoned by their government have formed a militia to avenge ISIS taking their land and slaughtering their families. The Christians have said they will fight alongside their “Muslim brothers” who have also suffered at the hands of the terror group.
Rayan Al-Kildani of the Babylonian Brigades, the Christian militia group part of the Shiite-dominated militias organization known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, told NBC News that ISIS “displaced us from our houses, they took our money, killed our young men and women and they took our properties.”
“By the will of God we will avenge what happened to our community,” Al-Kildani vowed, and said that the Christian fighters will help Muslims who are also standing up to ISIS.
“ISIS terrorists do not differentiate among Christians, Muslims, Sunnis and Shiites — they kill everyone,” he added. “We have to help our Muslim brothers liberate Iraq.”
ISIS has driven out hundreds of thousands of Christians from their ancient homes across Iraq and Syria, including almost 200,000 Assyrian Christians from the Nineveh plans, the NGO Reach Initiative said.
Iraqi Christians have said they feel abandoned by the central government, and argued that the treatment they are suffering now is a culmination of over a decade of violent persecution of Christians in Iraq.
“We don’t want to leave the country that we lived in all our lives, where we enjoyed life and our religion. But we need a secure place to live,” explained Batool Airyagoos, a refugee who fled Qaraqosh, the largest Christian town in Nineveh.