Securing a future for Iraq’s Christians

“Before the arrival of Daesh (ISIS), there were 1,450 families living in Telskuf, 110 in Bakofa, 950 in Badnaya, over 700 in Telskef and 875 in Karamlesh.

“For these families the first precondition for returning to their villages is security,” explained Fr Salar Boudagh. The Chaldean priest is involved in the plans to help Christians return to these villages.

He added: “Our area, the eastern part of the Nineveh plains, is patrolled by a Christian security force, [a unit of] the Zeravani, who can give us a 100 percent guarantee of security.” The Zeravani are the Kurdish military police.

“We have begun rebuilding work in Telskuf and Bakofa, because the damage to the houses is not too serious, unlike in Badnaya, where 80 percent of the houses have been destroyed.”  Fr Salar told us: “It costs US$7,000 to refurbish a home that has been lightly damaged, to repair a house that has been burned out costs US$25,000, to rebuild a house that has been totally destroyed costs US$65,000.

“I pray to God that the benefactors of ACN, who have helped us so much up till now, will continue to help us in every way possible – to rebuild our homes and our villages, to encourage the families to return and re-establish Christianity in the land of the prophets.”