Iraqi Refugees May Never Return

Iraqi refugees pose with speakers from Jordanian Catholic and Muslim institutions coming to their aid in Jordan.

Iraqi refugees who fled Islamic State violence after Mosul was overrun say it will be difficult ever to return home, despite concerns by the church that more Christians are fleeing their ancient homeland in the Middle East. “I thought I was living in a kind of dystopian end-of-times film,” said Jassam, 33. “I had lived in Mosul my whole life, and never anywhere else had I experienced the love and kindness I knew there. But what a violent upheaval of fortune befell us after June 10, when the extremists took over,” he told Jordanian Catholic and Muslim officials during a day of solidarity with the Iraqi refugees held outside of the capital, Amman, on Oct. 1. Jassam and his family abandoned their homes and businesses to the militants. “In the end,” he said, “we had to flee for our lives.” The United Nations reported on Oct. 2 that the Islamic State has committed a “staggering array” of human rights abuses and “acts of violence of an increasingly sectarian nature” in Iraq.

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