BAGHDAD, Iraq – Now that the United States is almost finished pulling out a number its final troops out of Iraq, analysts currently state that the results of the war, which had been predicted by Pope John Paul II, are now being deeply felt by Christians living in the country.
Iraqi priest Fr. Firas Behnam Benoka stated that if world leaders had only listened to the “prophetic words” of the late Pope John Paul II, “love wouldn’t have been killed off in favor of violence and hate.”
Fr. Benoka also mentioned that the Iraqi people still continues facing “a terrible tragedy,” as they fight the “shadow of violence” which has been left upon them.
The war had “dire consequences” for the Christians in Iraq, stated Michael La Civita, the vice president for communications at the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
He stated that over 150,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed during the war. As addition to the cost in human lives, the war has “absolutely devastated” the Christian community in Iraq, he added.
In a blog post last December 15, La Civita emphasized to a United Nations report stating that “more than 4.7 million Iraqis have fled their homes.”
He noted that according to U.N. estimates, “almost half of Iraq’s middle and professional classes have fled.”
“The result,” La Civita said, “has been empty churches and lack of financial support for parish communities and programs. Broken families abound, he added, and many women and children have been left “to fend for themselves.”
Fr. Benoka also said that the “the Iraqi of today” is a “fragile man without hope” in a society that is still deeply divided. He added that Christians in Iraq “have disappeared, along with the other minorities.”
Fr. Benoka said that Christians in the country worry about “the idea of extinction” and are fearful “of being used” for political reasons. Still, he said, the survival of Iraqi Christians is possible if peace is established in the country.
La Civita certainly still believes that the treatment that these reported minorities would eventually receive will have an important role in determining the future that the country is headed in the next coming years.
“Minorities or a lack thereof will determine the future of Iraq,” he then concluded.
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