Seven years after ISIS defeat, Mosul’s Christian community remains displaced

MOSUL, Iraq — The Christians of Mosul continue to suffer from the lasting impact of the Islamic State (ISIS) and its campaign of terror, which, despite the group’s defeat seven years ago, prevents many from returning to their city.

Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul Emil Shimon Nouna commented on the situation, stating that over 90% of the Christians who fled Mosul are unlikely to return due to the psychological trauma they experienced during ISIS control.

He noted that many of these Christians now reside in Ankawa in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), where they feel safer, have better job opportunities, and do not consider returning to a significantly changed Mosul.

Similarly, Chaldean Bishop of Alqosh, Paul Thabet Makko, emphasized that the KRI provides a sense of safety for Christian refugees. He mentioned that the majority of Christian families, about 1,200, who fled Mosul due to ISIS violence, have not returned.

He added that while ISIS was defeated in 2017, the period of their control left profound psychological scars on the city’s Christian community.