Militant groups like the Islamic State have long targeted Christian holy sites in the Middle East. According to Sara Savva, the destruction of sacred Christian sites in the region is “a loss for every single Christian around the world” and a “big loss for mankind.”
Hopefully, Pope Francis’ trip to visit the Christians in Iraq will not only lift their spirits but also inspire change so that they can stay and prosper in their ancient homeland, which would benefit all of Iraq.
We shouldn’t redraw existing borders carelessly. But when trying to hold a state together becomes more disruptive to international order than allowing it to break apart, when one group mistreats another within a state, when a government loses the ability and authority to govern, the sensible course is to let that state dissolve.
Syria—with five million refugees, 500,000 dead, the Pandora’s box of chemical warfare reopened, a cesspool of terror groups, and Russians and Americans, Israelis and Iranians shooting at each other—is the very definition of chaos.
After becoming direct victims of ISIS violence in 2014, no significant Christian groups in northern Iraq chose neutrality, and most fought in Christian militias rather than integrating into larger Iraqi or Kurdish forces.
Christians in the United States and Europe must continue to speak up for our Iraqi brothers and sisters in Christ. We must act now, or the oldest Christian community in the world could vanish during our time.
The Kurdish independence movement gives the United States a unique opportunity to support a government as it transitions towards democracy and becomes a viable Middle Eastern partner within a region of chaos.
In the effort to fight ISIS in Syria, the U.S. government has recently approved supplying arms to Kurdish YPG fighters. But a key NATO ally, Turkey, has condemned the action, claiming the U.S. is empowering the PKK, a Kurdish terrorist group. Here is what you should know about the Kurdish fighters involved.