Christianity has no future in Iraq, says vicar of Baghdad

Christianity's time in Iraq is now over and the faith has no future left in the land considered as its cradle, according to a prominent priest who is known as the "Vicar of Baghdad."

(REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah)Iraqi priests hold the first Sunday mass at the Grand Immaculate Church since it was recaptured from Islamic State in Qaraqosh, near Mosul, Iraq, October 30, 2016.

In a recent interview with Fox News, Canon Andrew White concluded that Christianity's time in Iraq has finally reached its end. The "Vicar of Baghdad" said it has become too difficult for Christians to remain in their homeland after the Islamic State ravaged the area, and now, they can never return.

There used to be around 1.4 million Christians in Iraq, but the population decreased to around a million after Saddam Hussein's fall in 2003. The number dropped even lower when ISIS took over swathes of land in the region and waged war on "infidels." Last year, estimates peg the figure at less than 250,000, and that number continues to go down as the exodus of Christian families from the Middle East continues.

"The time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited," White told Fox in the interview. "The Christians coming out of Iraq and ISIS areas in the Middle East all say the same thing, there is no way they are ever going back. They have had enough."

In addition, White said the persecuted Christians in the Middle East are in dire need of help. A prayer for peace is also necessary, but the suffering believers there also have basic needs that have to be provided.

White is not the only one who thinks Christianity is about to come to an end in Iraq. Speaking to the Express in an interview, a vicar in Erbil known as Father Daniel said Christians who fled ISIS persecution can never return because the terror group has formed a new breed of child radicals who pose great danger to them.

Father Daniel revealed that ISIS has passed on its radical ideology to the next generation. The Iraqi Christians can try to go back, but the vicar said it would be very difficult because they do not know how the children from the outside can adapt to the children remaining in Mosul. He also said they would have to work very closely with the children in Mosul to change the ideas that the militants have implanted into their minds.