The hardest challenge for Iraq’s Christians is uncertainty and not knowing where the next dollar is to come from, according to John Neill, a volunteer aid worker for the Chaldean archdiocese of Erbil.

Neill, formerly with the BBC, gives a vivid assessment of the challenges following the liberations of Christian towns from Daesh (ISIS).

“When I visited Batnaya you got a real insight into the deep hatred ISIS has for the Christian community,” he explains. “They wanted to destroy everything. The desecration in the church was unimaginable. So if you have a home and you’ve lost your home and you come back to it and you see it burned, desecrated, it’s another deep wound to an already wounded soul.”

Neill also stresses the urgency for donations as the refugees depend primarily on the Church, and why Iraqi Christians are “feeling excited” about President Trump after their disappointment with President Obama who “did nothing.”

Europe and America “really need to start thinking seriously” about bringing security back to the region, he says, and underlines how every Catholic has a responsibility to help them, including Church leaders who must “come out and say the truth” about what is happening there.

“As Catholics,” he says, “we really need to pray and pray hard.” 

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