The Iraqi city of Qaraqosh is still uninhabitable months after it was freed from the clutches of the Islamic State, but the Assyrian Christians who once lived in the ancient town are confident that God can use this "hell" to work out a miracle in the future, according to a national security analyst.
A Qaraqosh Christian, whose name has been withheld, walked with Clarion Project national security analyst Prof. Ryan Mauro and shared how difficult it was to see his home of 20 years destroyed and his family's belongings scattered everywhere after it was hit by an airstrike targeting ISIS. Despite the visible destruction all around, Mauro told Breitbart News that there is still hope for Christians in Iraq.
"I do see a future for the Christian community in Iraq, because they, after all they've been through, see a future," Prof. Mauro told Breitbart.
Based on footage that Mauro obtained, the ancient Christian city has been plowed to the ground. Even though ISIS was driven out in November, piles of debris remain in the streets up to now.
For the Assyrian Christians of Qaraqosh, ISIS' desire to destroy Christian establishments reflects how insecure they are of their version of the Islamic faith.
Mauro also shared that he heard the Assyrian Christians saying that their God does not dwell in buildings but in their hearts.
"The ones who I walked around Qaraqosh with were adamant that their faith is even stronger than it was before and vowed to reopen the burned church and fill it with an even bigger crowd than before," Mauro added. "To them, God will use this hell they've endured to perform a miracle."
However, there are also those who are not as optimistic as Mauro. Earlier this month, a Christian woman named Hind Jijji who fled Qaraqosh in 2014 shared with Voice of America how shocked she was at the destruction that her hometown has suffered. She also said life for many Iraqi Christians will never be the same again and that there are many who do not want to return anymore.
Jijji said she does not want to live in Qaraqosh again. For her, living near people who opted to stay under ISIS rule is unthinkable. She and her family have decided to resettle in Europe to live in safety and have a shot at a better life.