Even after ISIS is defeated, Muslim extremists prevent Iraqi Christians from returning to their homes

​By URagheb Elias Karash

What is the current situation of the Christian community on the Nineveh Plains and in Mosul? How many Christians have returned to the region in the wake of the ouster of ISIS? To start, the number of families that have returned to Mosul does not exceed 20! And these families have done so because their children had to go back to school and university; some heads of household are state employees and were forced go back to stay in their jobs. That does not mean that these families are living in a safe and stable situation. There are no guarantees for their security and their future there.

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Would you like to learn more about the crisis that Christians face today, especially in the Middle East?  Below are resources that will enlighten you to only some of the atrocities committed against them.”

USAID Shifts on Aid to Christians, Yazidis in Iraq

​By Susan Crabtree

USAID, responding to pressure late last year from Vice President Mike Pence, announced today that it is altering its policies in order to ensure that millions of dollars in U.S. aid appropriated by Congress reaches Iraqi religious minorities.  Pence, during an October speech at a dinner highlighting the plight of persecuted Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere, promised that the Trump administration would stop the State Department's "ineffective" relief efforts that directed all the funds to United Nations, which has a religious-blind policy of disbursing the funds to all refugees in Iraq.

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A plan to end the suffering 

​By TAS Founder Amanda Bowman

Following the liberation of Raqqa, the Economist headlined an article “To the victors, the toils”. While we can all rejoice that the blood-soaked reign of ISIS terror has ended, the challenges facing Christians returning to their homes are certainly daunting.  For one thing, there are far fewer of them. The Christian population of 1.4 million that lived in Iraq in 2003 has dwindled to fewer than 250,000. This represents a catastrophic decline for a Church that traces its faith back to the Apostle Thomas and which continues to pray in Aramaic, the language of Our Lord.  That the cradle of Christianity risks being eradicated should be of compelling concern to Christians of all denominations.

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Watch Video: The Christian Holocaust in the Islamic Middle East is happening !

Readout of The Vice President's Call with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi Of Iraq

​By Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence spoke today with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi of Iraq. The leaders discussed the Trump Administration’s deep commitment to protect persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and the greater Middle East, a commitment which is shared by Prime Minister Abadi. They also discussed the upcoming May elections in Iraq, reports of Iran attempting to meddle in Iraq’s election and government formation, and the need to ensure free and fair elections that include Iraq’s citizens displaced by the fight against ISIS. Vice President Pence congratulated Prime Minister Abadi on Iraqi Security Force successes against ISIS and highlighted the continuing great partnership between Iraq’s Security Forces and the U.S. military and coalition partners. The Vice President was pleased to hear more about the re-opening of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s airports and the initial payment of some Kurdistan Regional Government salaries. Both leaders expressed looking forward to increased trade and economic ties between Iraq and the United States. 

Christianity's prospects of surviving in its birthplace are grim   

​By Perry Chiaramonte

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Merry Christmas, Iraq

​By William McGurn• WSJ

Christians are joyful over Islamic State’s defeat—but they’re worried about Iran. 

A few nights from now the Chaldean archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Matti Warda, will celebrate Midnight Mass with his Iraqi flock. The faithful will walk into their cathedral through a passageway modeled on the Ishtar Gate that was the main entryway into ancient Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar II 2,600 years ago. Once inside they will celebrate their Christmas liturgy in a dialect of Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke.  This year, Erbil is a microcosm of the hopes and anxieties of Iraq’s dwindling Christian population. Once a small...

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Poll measures US Catholic perception of Christian persecution around the world

​By Religion News LLC

 Forty percent of US Catholics believe that Christian persecution around the world is “severe.” Four-in-ten Catholics say that half or more of religiously-based attacks around the world are directed at Christians.  However, US Catholics say they are less concerned about Christian persecution than about human trafficking, poverty, climate change, and the global refugee crisis.

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Iran: One of the bravest women in the world stands up for freedom -- The West should stand with her

​By Nina Shea (Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS) 

In Iran, a young woman with a growing Twitter reputation as the world’s bravest proponent of women’s rights is now reported to be facing serious criminal charges in that repressive theocracy for a single act of peaceful defiance -- appearing in public without a head scarf.  A December 27 video of her flouting Iran’s compulsory veiling of women went viral during recent anti-regime demonstrations there. On Tehran’s busy Enghelab Street, she is seen standing on a concrete post, head uncovered, while solemnly waving a white scarf affixed to a stick, like a flag. Poignantly, the street’s Persian name means “Revolution.”

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A rabbi's warning to U.S. Christians


I am certainly not a Churchill. I am not even a Revel. I am having enough trouble just trying to be a Lapin. But I am issuing a very serious warning about deep consequences, just as they did. It is a warning about the earliest stages of what could become a cataract of disasters if not resisted now.  During the 1930s, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the English people and their government to see that Hitler meant to end their way of life. The British ignored Churchill, which gave Hitler nearly 10 years to build up his military forces. It wasn't until Hitler actually drew blood that the British realized they had a war on their hands. It turned out to be a far longer and more destructive war than it needed to be had Churchill's early warning been heeded.

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A Catholics urged to fight world’s apathy on persecuted Christians

​By Beth Griffin • Catholic News Service

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said Catholics should learn from their “Jewish elder brothers and sisters” how best to advocate with elected leaders to alleviate the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.  “It took us a while to answer the alarm clock” on the issue, but Catholics have responded generously with aid, awareness and prayers, he told participants at a Dec. 5 conference on “Preserving Christian Communities in the Middle East and Curbing Anti-Semitism.”  Cardinal Dolan and other speakers said indifference, secularism and a societal reluctance to call evil by its real name contribute to lack of large-scale outrage and political action to protect Christians and help them live safely in their homelands.

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A world indifferent to genocide   

​By Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Ron Lauder

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215 Million Christians Persecuted, Mostly by Muslims 

​By Raymond Ibrahim

“215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution” around the world, says Open Doors, a human rights organization. On its recently released World Watch List 2018, which ranks the world’s 50 worst nations wherein to be Christian, 3,066 Christians were killed, 1,252 abducted, and 1,020 raped or sexually harassed on account of their faith; 793 churches were attacked or destroyed.     

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Amanda Bowman is the Founder of The Anglosphere Society. 

Prince Charles Delivers Easter Message on Christian Persecution

Ronald S. Lauder remarks: The Crisis for Christians in the Middle East

Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, New York   Dec. 5, 2016

Syria's "War After ISIS" Begins as Turkey Attacks U.S. Anti-ISIS Partner

​By Jennifer Cafarella and Elizabeth Teoman with Bradley Hanlon

Key Takeaway: Turkey launched an air-ground operation against the American partner force in Syria, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), in Afrin district northwest of Aleppo City on January 20th, 2018. Turkey’s goal is to extend its buffer zone along the Syrian-Turkish border. Turkey may subsequently attack the town of Manbij, east of Afrin on the banks of the Euphrates River. Turkey’s operations threaten to provoke a widening Turkish-Kurdish war that could unravel the U.S. stabilization effort in eastern Syria, place U.S. service members in Manbij at risk, and force the U.S. to reconsider support for the YPG.

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Is the West finally pushing Saudi Arabia to squelch its version of radical Islam?

​By Nina Shea (Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS) 

The West is showing evidence of a newly stiffened spine in the face of Saudi Arabian influence on Islamic culture – and none too soon.  The world heard the get-tough rhetoric of President Trump last May in the Saudi capital of Riyadh when he admonished Muslim leaders to begin “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.”

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US should aid religious minorities abroad directly, without going through the UN   

​By Nina Shea (Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS) 

​The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy Report unveiled this week makes it a priority to “protect religious freedom and religious minorities” abroad. This is an integral part of the new U.S. strategy to champion American values around the world.  To make this happen, the administration should start by ending the United Nations’ role as middleman for distributing U.S. aid to the world’s needy. In the Middle East, U.N.-administered aid programs that undermine American values are working to drive out threatened Christians and Yazidi minorities. 

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Why are US aid policies in Iraq helping Iran and hurting Christian and Yazidi minorities?   

​By Nina Shea (Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS) 

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Iranian Christians, Other Religious Minorities, Turn to Austria for Help After U.S. Denies Asylum

​By Susan Crabtree

A displaced group of Iranian Christians and other religious minorities persecuted in their homeland are pleading with the Austrian government and Catholic authorities in Vienna not to send them back to Iran after the United States rejected their applications for asylum earlier this week.  

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Prince Charles: I am heartbroken at Christian persecution in Middle East

​By Harry Farley 

The Prince of Wales has spoken of his heartbreak at Christian persecution in the Middle East as he called on believers in the UK to step up their response to the crisis.  In a moving speech on Tuesday Prince Charles said Christians in Syria, Iraq and other countries in the Middle East face 'troubled times' and 'desperate trials' as he urged prayers for those 'forced to leave their homes in the face of the most brutal persecution on account of their faith'.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: U.S. Bishops Mark Nov. 26 as Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians

The USCCB in collaboration with the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and Aid to the Church in Need announce the observance this Sunday, November 26, as A Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. The Day of Prayer also initiates "Solidarity in Suffering," a Week of Awareness and Education that runs from November 26-December 3. The Day of Prayer on the Solemnity of Christ the King, is a fitting time to reflect on religious freedom and Christians around the world who are being persecuted in unheard of numbers.  

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Watch 2015 Video: The amazing response of the Egyptian Christians whose loved ones were beheaded by ISIS has inspired a solidarity movement for those suffering for Christ in the Middle East.

Why Christians Need Self Rule in Iraq

​By Uzay Bulut

On March 8, three members of an Assyrian Christian family -- Dr. Hisham Maskoni, his wife, Dr. Shadha Malik Dano, and her elderly mother -- were stabbed to death in their home in Baghdad. The two doctors, who had left Iraq, the country of their birth, in 2003, returned five years ago to work at St. Raphael Hospital in the capital. The victims, who lived in a neighborhood controlled by a Shiite militia, had been tortured, according to Ashur Sargon Eskrya, president of the Assyrian Aid Society-Iraq, in an interview with Gatestone.

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Coming home from genocide: How to prevent ISIS from rising again 

​By John Burger

he Islamic State failed to establish its caliphate, and ISIS territory has been reconquered. But the Christian communities of the Middle East, one of the targets of ISIS oppression, are still vulnerable and in need of protection, experts agreed during a daylong conference in New York City this week. And, while the established military may have defeated Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, there is still a dire need to combat the underlying ideologies that gave rise to ISIS, speakers suggested.  

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Strengthening the ties between the United States, United Kingdom, and the English speaking world.

Brownback Confirmation Comes at a Crucial Time for Religious Freedom Worldwide

​By Lou Ann Sabatier

The resignation announcement comes the day after Brownback was confirmed as President Trump's Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.   Overland Park, Kan., native and Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer will takeover for Brownback as governor.

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2nd Annual Conference ! - Crisis for Christians in the Middle East - Videos

Dolan: Persecution of Christians a ‘kitchen table’ topic for U.S. Catholics 

​By Christopher White

NEW YORK - The persecution of Christians around the world has become a “kitchen table topic” for Catholics, according to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. While Dolan acknowledged that Christians were slow “to answer the alarm clock,” he offered high praise for the current level of engagement of U.S. Christians in responding to the needs of Christians overseas, particularly in the Middle East.

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100 Iranian Christians Waiting to Enter U.S. Could Be Sent Back to Iran This Week

​By Susan Crabtree

U.S. government action could send 100 mostly Christian Iranians stranded in Vienna back to Iran this week, where their return during the harsh government crackdown on dissidents could target them for further persecution, human rights activists warn. The deportation threat looms despite the Trump administration's and Congress's vocal support for protesters in Iran, who are waging the strongest nationwide uprising against the government in Tehran in eight years.

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America shouldn't send endangered religious minority refugees back to Iran

​By Nina Shea (Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS) 

Scores of members of Iranian religious minorities left their homeland more than a year ago at Washington’s invitation with the intention of coming to America. But now they may be barred from the U.S. for security reasons and could be placed in imminent danger of deportation back to the Islamic dictatorship – where they likely would face persecution, or even imprisonment and death. 

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Anglosphere Society to host summit on defending Middle East Christians

The cradle of Christianity risks being eradicated and should be of compelling concern to Christians of all denominations. The Anglosphere Society is convening experts in various disciplines to present a clear-eyed analysis of the challenges that face our fellow Christians in the Middle East in the post-ISIS era.

The Economist headlined a recent article about the liberation of Raqqa in Syria from ISIS last month this way: “To the victors, the toils.”

While we can all rejoice that the blood-soaked reign of ISIS terror is ended, the Anglosphere Society invites you to their Second Annual Conference daytime inter-faith forum to be held December 5, 2017 at the 3 West Club in New York City. Learn more and dialogue with experts about the subsequent protection, reconstruction, and inclusion for Christians in the Middle East.

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Pence promise fulfilled: US changes rules on the UN to help Christian and minority victims of 'genocide' in Iraq

​By  George Russell 

Help appears finally to be on the way to thousands of desperate Christian, Yazidi and other minority refugees in northern Iraq, more than two months after Vice President Mike Pence promised last October 25 to  “stop funding ineffective relief efforts at the United Nations” and “provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID.”  

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