Iraqi Christian Villagers Displaced by Turkey-PKK Fighting
06/25/2021 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Fighting between Turkey and the PKK in northern Iraq continues to displace remote Christian villagers. Navkandalan is another example, located in Zakho, northern Dohuk, where the Christian families went from 70 to 40.
Many of the families fled to the Kurdistan Region after facing persecution from ISIS. Now they face persecution and displacement in another form of violence. The chief of Navkandalan said, “Turkey and the PKK have created problems for us. People are fleeing the villages, especially the Christians, in order to find safe villages. We don’t stay in conflict zones. The conflict is now intense. We urge the United Nations to find a solution. We, as Christians, don’t want to evacuate our village.”
Of the 30 families who have now been displaced, 10 fled to Zakho and Dohuk and the remaining 20 have left for international destinations including Australia, the US and Canada. The church suffers as villagers flee and the physical church buildings become more dangerous. Nine priests cannot visit their churches in Turkey-PKK conflict zones. Even the pastor of Navkandalan church has left the village, though he returns on weekends to teach the remaining village’s children.
In total, 11 Christian villages have been recently evacuated and 500 Christian families have been displaced. With Turkey and the PKK indicate no signs of slowing their aggression with aimless targeting, Christian villages in northern Iraq will continue to suffer greatly.
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