Christians who fled Islamic State atrocities in Mosul, Iraq are reportedly still afraid that violence will return even after their destroyed hometown is reconstructed.
ISIS previously declared a caliphate at the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, but coalition forces have almost recaptured the site. The Iraqi government has entered the city and has tried to let in only the authorities, but most of the areas surrounding Mosul is being controlled by the Shia militia, CGTN notes.
In Qaraqosh, electricians are starting to rewire the town in what is seen as one of the first acts of reconstruction since ISIS was driven out of it in December. Unfortunately, Christians will have little use of these services because most of them have already fled to Erbil.
The situation in and around Mosul has given birth to fear among Christians that sectarian violence could erupt after ISIS is completely defeated. Should that situation play out in the future, believers would reportedly be left without allies.
Meanwhile, a vicar serving Christian refugees in Erbil warned that the believers can never return to their hometowns because ISIS has trained child radicals with its destructive ideology. Speaking to The Express in an interview published last month, Father Daniel said the militant group will continue its efforts to eradicate Christians from the Middle East.
"We can go back but it is a question of safety. We are dealing with a new generation bred by ISIS - they have a radical anti-Christian viewpoint and so it would be really hard to go back," Father Daniel told The Express. "It would be very hard for children here and children in Mosul to get together. Can they even get along together as two groups? Could they adapt to each other? We really need to work with the children in Mosul to change what ISIS has implanted there."
In light of the imminent danger, Father Daniel said education could be Christians' only weapon against ISIS and its new generation of child radicals. The vicar also shared that some of their young supporters are now working as translators and are trying to get their message heard across the world.