Christian presence in Shigur (Şengal / Sinjar), Iraq, faces challenges

SHIGUR, Iraq — The Christian community in Shigur (Şengal / Sinjar), Iraq, is facing significant challenges as security instability and lack of services have resulted in their gradual disappearance from the region, according to a report by Bas News.

The representative of the Christian component in Shigur revealed that the Christian community had settled in the area over 70 years ago. However, their lives took a tragic turn in 2014 and the following years when their properties were systematically burned or razed to the ground by the Islamic State (ISIS).

The report highlights the devastation caused to the Christian community, which once had three churches — the Armenian Church, the Catholic Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church — all of which were destroyed, along with numerous shrines and religious sites belonging to other ethnic components.

In October 2020, in an attempt to address the situation, the governments of Baghdad and Erbil signed an agreement aimed at forming a new administration and reorganizing security matters in the region. However, to date, most of the terms of the agreement remain unimplemented.

The plight of the Christian community in Shigur underscores the pressing need for comprehensive and effective measures to ensure their safety, security, and access to essential services.

Fivty-two Christian families used to live in Shigur, but all have left the city. There are currently no Christian inhabitants of Shigur.