Hard Winter Looms for Iraq’s ‘Betrayed’ Christian Refugees (1261)
Without aid to survive in Kurdistan, or security to return to their homes, Iraq’s Christians feel they are brushed off as “collateral damage” of geopolitical power plays.
ERBIL, Iraq — Despite efforts by northern Iraq’s Catholic bishops to ensure that Christians and other refugees can survive the winter, housing shortages and a significant lack of financial support continue to pose serious threats to their lives.
“The Church is pretty much alone in caring for them; so far the Iraqi government has not done anything for them. The tents of the refugees are set up on parish properties,” said Karin Maria Fenbert, an official with the international pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Fenbert assessed the situation in Erbil. With the start of the school year, many of the refugees who had been sheltered in schools have left quickly in order to avoid tensions with local Christians, she explained.