As an Iraqi-led coalition fights to free Mosul from ISIS, many displaced Christians are hopeful they can return home soon. But some are not eager to go back, fearing that they would not have a home to return to.
Iraqi-led forces moved in to liberate the Christian town of Qaraqosh last week but they are facing heavy resistance from ISIS fighters. The town was home to 50,000 Christians before it was taken over by Islamic extremists. A general of a Christian militia, Gen. Amr Shamoun, said that part of Qaraqosh has already been reclaimed.
Vernon Brewer, head of a Christian humanitarian organization World Help, said that many Christians living in displacement camps see an “air of hope” in the latest move to liberate Mosul.
“There is an air of expectancy. There is an air of hope,” Brewer said in a phone interview with The Christian Post. “We saw that today in the camp we were in. There is definitely a hope that something positive is about to happen,” he added.
Brewer, who is currently in Kurdistan helping displaced Iraqis, said that many of the Christians he talked to cannot wait to return home. However, he added that there are others who simply do not want to go back.
“I talked to some people who say they never want to go back to Mosul,” he explained. “The food is scarce and cost prohibitive for most people,” Brewer continued.
“Another family told me that they have called their neighbors and asked them if they watched their house and their store while they were gone. There neighbors said, ‘No, we have moved in and we have just taken your house and store,'” he narrated.
Brewer said there are many Christians who are still hopeful and there are some who even carried their house keys with them to keep as a reminder. He added that many would not want to return home until they believe it is completely safe from ISIS and other jihadis.