Reports from coalition forces suggest that Mosul is almost ISIS-free. Despite the good news, the absence of ISIS does not mean Iraq will foster a religiously tolerant society for Christians. In fact, some Christians are concerned that things will become even more dangerous for Christians. Some of the church heads are asking for a safe haven in the Nineveh province for Christians in anticipation of legal and social persecution.
2017-05-17 Iraq (CBN) – A senior U.S. official says the battle to retake control of Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul from ISIS terrorists is approaching its final stages.
“It’s really just a matter of time,” Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition against ISIS told reporters while visiting the outskirts of the Iraqi city.
“I’m not going to put timelines on it, this has been a long and very difficult campaign but ISIS is down to its last stronghold in the western part of the city,” McGurk said. “Anyone left in there, they either have to surrender or they’re going to die.”
But as Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. and coalition troops, prepare for their final assault on the besieged city, many Iraqis, especially Christians, are worried about what their country will look like after the fall of the terror group.
The heads of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are asking authorities to establish a safe haven for the country’s persecuted Christians in the ethnically diverse and volatile Nineveh province where various religious groups have often fought each other over territory.