Mosul, Iraq, Dec 14, 2016 / 00:02 am America/Denver (CNA).
Christians, Muslims and other victims of ISIS feel relief over the terrorist group being pushed back from the Nineveh Plain area of Northern Iraq, but challenges remain for the region as winter sets in.
While he feels “great joy” that ISIS has been driven out, local Christians feel it's “unclear” who to turn to for safety, Archbishop Yohanna Petros Mochaz told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, also known as ISIS, is an extremist terrorist organization. In the summer of 2014, ISIS made inroads into the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq – a home of Christianity since the 1st Century A.D. – but over the course of 2016, areas in the region have been retaken from the organization's control by cooperation of various local and international actors.
In the two years of ISIS control, over 3.3 million Iraqis were internally displaced. While under ISIS control Christians and other refugees were subject to persecution, severe restrictions on religious belief, violence and death.
The archbishop explained that while these areas in Iraq have been retaken, civic trust has deteriorated, making moving back more difficult.