“ISIS was a trial we had to face,” said Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. “Now we have another one: how to really help Christians to stay.” For the archbishop, the goal now is “not just surviving; it’s thriving,” National Catholic Register reports. And to do this, he believes, not only are jobs needed, but also “sustainable projects,” ones that give Christians a chance to showcase their talents and qualifications, “a chance to witness.”
In the once densely Christian populated Nineveh Plains to the north and east of Mosul, the challenges are similar, though each situation is different and largely contingent on which civil authorities are in charge. More than 90,000 Christians lived in the region before ISIS; that number has decreased to less than just under 40,000.