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Iraq’s Kurds offer homes to refugee Christians

Iraq’s Kurdish minority is offering homes to refugee Christians who have been driven out of southern Iraq and Baghdad by Islamist extremists.

Aboout 30 million Kurds inhabit a region historically known as Kurdistan which crosses the borders of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. About 4 million of Iraq’s 34 million citizens are Kurds.

Targeted by Saddam Hussein, who used chemical warfare to kill entire villages, Iraqi Kurds have enjoyed semi-autonomy since the first Gulf war in 1991. Now the predominant Kurdish political party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, is offering homes to Christian refugees who will move into one of those villages, according to the British-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting.


Refugees are being offered plots of land as well as $10,000 per family to settle in the village of Se Ganian, whose population was murdered by poison gas during Saddam’s campaign against the Kurds.

In the last decade, more than 200,000 Iraqi Christians have left Iraq after such incidents as the October 2010 attack on a packed Baghdad church — which killed more than 60 men, women and children.

Only about 200,000 Chaldean Christians remain in Iraq, according to Louis Sago, archbishop of the Chaldean Orthodox Church in Kirkuk, who says 12,000 have settled in the Kirkuk area.

Mohammad Ameen, a political analyst and a professor at Kirkuk University, discounted the initiative “a political move to get more votes.” The oil-rich, multi-ethnic Kirkuk area is debating whether to vote to become part of the Kurdistan political area within Iraq. The Kurds are predominantly Muslim.


Kurdish spokesman Ghafoor Salih Sameen said his party would do all that was required to safeguard Iraq’s Christians and halt their exodus. “This is not the first time the [Kurdish party] has supported the Christians, considering them a part of our history,” he said. “We are working hard to serve Kirkuk residents in general and the Christians in particular as they are an important part of the identity of Kirkuk.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment GaudioLugens

    So the Iraqi citizenry, whom many a Christian had helped to liberate from the tyranny of its old government, has become the tyranny of a new government, whose religiously arrogant boot has been tyrannizing the very Christianity that helped to put it in power. Am I the only one that notices the irony here?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Eddie Sutton

    All muslins aren’t bad and the Kurds have
    demostrated it again. I am a Christian and
    othough I may not respect another individuals
    religion, I do respect he or she as another
    individual and whatever they believe. I
    don’t like democrates, but I have friends that are somewhat socialist and stupid. But
    they are still my friends. I get angry when
    it starts costing me. Remeber, you are not
    entitled to anything you have not earned.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment n.e.philly

    it’s good to hear a story like this. i wonder if fox news and some of our right wing news groups gave this story the exposure it deserves.

  • http://KurdishLove Randy J

    God Bless them all and may they come to know Jesus as their savior.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jayman

    The Kurds helped sneak persecuted Jews out of Iraq during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Now they are assisting Christians too. The Kurds are a proud nation that values true courage. They deserve a state of their own carved out of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey, in areas that are rightfully theirs.

  • Lee Nicholson

    How can we help these Christians or the Kurds who are housing them?

  • Christoph DeHaven

    Failure to intervene in Iraq is collaboration with genocide and crimes against humanity. U.S. security interests are glaringly obvious (as they were not when we intervened in Libya in 2011), but more important is the pressing need to save Christians, Kurds, Yezidis, Mandeans, and other minorities being slaughtered and tortured by ISIL. Imagine the people who would be alive today if Clinton had only intervened in Rwanda. Fortunately, in this case there are fighters already on the ground that we can assist with military equipment: the Kurdish Pesh Merga. They are good fighters, but their weapons are Soviet-made and ISIL has advanced U.S. weaponry.

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