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ICC Note

Although Qeraqosh, once Iraq’s most populous Christian city, has been under the Iraqi forces’ control since October 2016, few Christians have returned to their homes. They have little to return to. The Atlantic has compiled a photo essay describing the condition of Qeraqosh. Bombed out homes, destroyed businesses, and little infrastructure do not create a welcoming environment. ICC has been and will continue to be on the frontlines, supporting Christian IDPs as they seek to return.    

2017-04-27 Egypt (The Atlantic) – In August of 2014, ISIS militants swept through towns near Mosul, Iraq, taking control and forcing thousands to flee. Among the towns was Qaraqosh, which was Iraq’s largest Christian city with a population of 50,000. For more than two years, occupying ISIS jihadists tried to erase any evidence of Christianity from Qaraqosh – burning churches, destroying icons and statues, toppling bell towers, and more. Qaraqosh was retaken by iraqi forces in Otoer of 2016, but the city remains almost completely deserted. Little by little, some residents who were forced to flee have been returning to recover what belongings remain, to assess the damage to their property, and to attend church services and holidays. Only a handful of families have moved back to the city so far, still fearing for their security, as iraqi forces continue to battle ISIS in nearby Mosul.

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