ASIA/IRAQ - Four years after the jihadist invasion, Christians from Karamles celebrate the return home with a procession

Tuesday, 7 August 2018 middle east   oriental churches   refugees   jihadists  


Karamles (Agenzia Fides) - Hundreds of Iraqi Christians took part, on the evening of Monday August 6th, in a procession that took place along the streets of Karamles, a town of the Nineveh Plain traditionally inhabited by Christians. With the community gesture, the Christians from Karamles wanted to commemorate the events that on the night between 6 and 7 August forced many tens of thousands of Christians to leave the towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain, in front of the offensive of the jihadist militiamen of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (Daesh).
The procession was preceded by a reflection on the pain and suffering that accompanied and followed that dramatic mass exodus, read in the light of the mystery of the cross. The Gospel passage in which Jesus promises that he will pray to the Father to ask him to send the Holy Spirit, the "Comforter" to his disciples was also read. Then the procession with the candles began, and along the way the participants recited Psalm 150, celebrating in this way also the "new beginning" represented in their lives by the return to their village and their homes, after the years of jihaidist domination.

Karamles, with the other villages and towns of the Nineveh Plain, represented the historical landmarks of the native Christian communities of ancient Mesopotamia. It is precisely around that Plain that the project of an "autonomous region" to be assigned to Christians began, in order to achieve at least in part the ancestral dream of a "national home" reserved for the Chaldean, Assyrian and Syrian communities.
On the night of 6 to 7 August 2014, tens of thousands of Christians fled in a hurry from Qaraqosh, Karamles, Talkief, Bartalla and other inhabited areas of the area, finding refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan, after the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga Kurdish troops in the region had withdrawn before the jihadists. In recent years, there has been no initiative or declaration "in defense of Iraqi Christians" that did not refer to the need to guarantee and defend the return of baptized Chaldeans, Syrians and Assyrians in the towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain.
After the definitive defeat of the jihadists of Daesh, information that is discordant and difficult to verify on the consistency of the return of the Christian inhabitants displaced from the Nineveh Plain to their villages circulates. In Karamles, the 300 Christian families that had already returned last December have already been able to celebrate together the last liturgical solemnities of Christmas and Easter. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 7/8/2018)