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Iraqi Christian politician: The Islamic State can't take away Christ

2014-10-20

The winter in Kurdistan is unforgiving. Year after year, temperatures drop below zero. But now, with hundreds of thousands of refugees- that winter could prove deadly. The refugees were forced to flee from the Islamic State, now many  don't have a roof over their heads. 

Anwar Matti Hadayi is one of them. He is Christian. Fearing for his life he and his family fled their hometown of Qaraqosh, when ISIS terrorist arrived. 

ANWAR MATTI HADAYA
Nineveh Provincial Council Member
"Before invading Nineveh, where all minorities lived, the Islamic State army, attacked the Sinjar Mountain, which is home to Yazidis. They killed all the men, kidnapped the women and destroyed all their properties.”

One of the Iraq's largest Christian community was Nineveh. For centuries they lived there. Now despite the danger and possible persecution, many are willing to go back. It's not just about a home, but about history and roots.

ANWAR MATTI HADAYA
Nineveh Provincial Council Member
"Terrorists from the Islamic State attacked Nineveh and bombed Quaraqosh, which is the largest Christian city in the region. Fifty thousands Christians fled. Five days later when the attacks stopped, many returned to their homes.” 

Even though Christians have seen brutal murders and persecution, thousands are staying strong in their faith.  

ANWAR MATTI HADAYA
Nineveh Provincial Council Member
"As Christians, we believe in Christ Our Savior and in His Mother, Our Lady. There, we find our strength to carry on. As Christians we left because we knew they would have imposed Islam, but it's precisely our faith that gives us strength and patience to face these hard times.”

Now he's asking the international community to work together so that refugees can go back home safely.  He also calls on Christians to individually support their fellow Christians in the Middle East, before things get worse. 


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