Christians in the Nineveh Plains Face Continued Challenges

Kurdish soldiers prepare for battle outside Kirkuk in northern Iraq.
(File photo, Boris Niehaus, Wikimedia obtained via Christian Aid Mission)

ISIS was defeated in Iraq 18 months ago. However, the Nineveh Plains has another problem—the local Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Shiite militia.

Nineveh Plains Christians

To the north of the Nineveh Plains sits the Kurds, and to the east is Iran. To the south and west is the rest of Iraq. Due to the geography, Christians in this region have historically been trapped between the three forces. Now, the militia in this area has taken it upon itself to enforce the rule of the land.

In efforts to disentangle the militia from Iranian influence, Iraq’s prime minister recently issued an executive order. The order is meant to integrate the militia with Iraq’s formal armed forces, but it could end up impacting local Christians.

“You have this central government that has never stood up for this minority that is lived there for centuries. So, whenever there’s a problem with ISIS or whatever, it always seems to start in the same area, that’s no accident. It’s because the central government is either weak or is unable or unwilling to stand up for the Christian minorities,” Dr. David Curry with Open Doors USA explains.

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SOURCE: Mission News Network, Bethann Flynn