Iraqi Christians Remember Genocide
08/07/2019 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Today marks the anniversary of the 1933 massacre of Iraqi Christians in Simele. Estimates of those killed vary between 600 and 3,000 men, women, and children. It was this massacre which led Raphael Lemkin to coin the word genocide, which would later gain common usage in World War II.
Although the Simele massacre occurred 86 years ago, it still has relevance today. In 2014, the Islamic State choose this day to fully invade the Christian homeland and institute a new genocide against Christians. Even though ISIS is now defeated, only half of the Christians who remain in Iraq have dared to return home. Those who have returned face daily pressures which challenge their continued presence in the region.
Iraq has a long history of genocide, creating deep rooted challenges for everyone who lives there. But Christians are left at an even greater disadvantage. Law is absent, creating an atmosphere which encourages militant tribalism. Christians, however, do not believe in taking up weapons as a way of life. This makes it challenging for Iraqi Christians to live in peace and safety in their homes.
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