Hope for Mosul says bishop reclaiming his diocese

Vanquishing ISIS and returning Mosul to the Christian Community is a sign of hope, says Syriac-Catholic Archbishop Petros Mouche of Mosul.

The prelate says even though Mosul has been destroyed, for Syriac-Catholic Christians in Iraq its “liberation is … a cause for great joy because the bulk my diocese is comprised by Mosul and Qaraqosh and environs.”

Mouche says people can return to the surrounding Nineveh Plains, although the damage to Mosul means it will be uninhabitable for the immediate future.

“A good number of families have already arrived [on the Plains]. Some have found work or started restaurants, shops and businesses. It takes a lot of courage to start from scratch again,” he says.

The challenges Christians returning to their homes on the Nineveh Plains face involve:

  • rebuilding or repairing about 13,000 houses
  • settling security concerns in the villages
  • a Kurdish-Iraqi independence election scheduled for 25 September 2017
  • massive infrastructure concerns (water, electricity, roads, schools and clinics)
  • internally displaced people in Erbil continuing to need food aid and help paying the rent until they return to their homes on the Nineveh Plains.

Of the 600 or so families that have resettled on the Nineveh Plains, some say they may move back into Mosul once the city is cleared of the devastation that began when ISIS took over the city in 2014.

While changing attitudes is difficult, Mouche says all people must understand war is not a solution and they must learn to live in peace together.

“We are all sick of war. Wars have been fought in Iraq off and on since 1958. We have to learn how to live in peace,” he says.



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