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.
The United States and the international community could make a difference in the future of Iraq by informing the incoming government that there will be no investment or access to capital markets until these militias, and Iranian influence, have been eliminated.
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.
Iraqi Christians in the Nineveh Plains require assistance, which can only be achieved by a coalition of states seeking the indigenous population’s best interest. President Trump and numerous European governments have made assisting displaced and persecuted Christians a top priority. These leaders have followed words with actions, but more must be done.
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.