Christians increasingly under attack by radical Islamic terrorists in the Middle East are being driven from the homes they inhabited for decades to the point they’re now wondering: Where can we live in peace?
At least one U.S. congressman, joined by members of the faith community from Iraq and other regions with similar concerns, think they have a solution.
“Representatives of Iraq’s Christian and Yazidi communities, as well as members of other religious minorities, convened in Washington [recently] and put forward a plan to carve out a sovereign state in the Nineveh Plain. Their plan has the backing of several lawmakers, including Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., who introduced a congressional resolution supporting the idea …
“‘Christians, Yazidis and other ethnic and religious minorities have been slaughtered and driven from their homes by ISIL’s horrific genocide,’ Fortenberry [said]. …
“The plan is a response to declarations by Congress and the State Department last March that ISIS was responsible for genocide against Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities in the region. A safe zone that could evolve into a sovereign state could allow them to remain safe from the black-clad jihadist army, say backers.
“‘One next step must be the re-securitization and revitalization of the Nineveh Plain, allowing the repatriation of those who had to flee,’ said Fortenberry. ‘This resolution, which follows on the government of Iraq’s own initiative to create a province in the Nineveh Plain region, seeks to restore the ancestral homeland of so many suffering communities.'”
Sadly, under the Obama administration, America has turned a blind eye to the plight of Christians facing a terrorist onslaught in the areas stormed by ISIS. Instead, the White House policy has been to press for open borders for migrants and refugees from mostly Muslim descent. Christians have been largely left in the cold.
Fox News, once again:
“The Nineveh Plain region, also known as the Plain of Mosul, has been the ancestral homeland of Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac Christians, Yazidis and other minorities – all of whom were under attack from ISIS once the terror group started to take hold and control the region in 2014.
“The Christian population in Iraq alone has plummeted from 1.5 million in 2003 to current estimates of 275,000 and could be gone for good within five years if no action is taken, according to a November 2015 report from international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. The dwindling numbers are due to genocide, refugees fleeing to other countries, internal displacement and others who either hide or disavow their faith.
“It has been estimated that a dozen Christian families flee Iraq each day. Christians who have managed to escape ISIS have fled to places like Europe and Lebanon, while members of the faith also are under increasing pressure in Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.
“Many of those who have been displaced want to return to their homeland, and see the Nineveh Plain as the cradle of their faith. …
“Robert Nicholson, executive director of the Philos Project, which worked with Fortenberry and other members of Congress to draft the resolution, told FoxNews.com: ‘We believe that the instability of Iraq has been caused largely by a central government that is too powerful, and local ethnic and religious blocs that feel cut out of the political process.’
“Nicholson points out that they are calling for the creation of a new province within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution and not a new and independent state.
“‘The Iraqi Constitution contains explicit protections for minorities and for creating new provinces,’ he said. ‘In January 2014, the Iraqi Cabinet of Ministers decided to create a new province on the Nineveh Plain, in addition to three other provinces, but the advent of ISIS put those plans on hold. We are simply calling for Iraq to resume that process once ISIS is rolled back, and we want to pledge as much US support as possible.'”
“Support from Washington could give the plan an important push, as well as lay the groundwork for help establishing security for the region if the new state is developed.”