Christians remain vital to Iraq, says U.S. lawyer who advises Chaldeans
An American lawyer instrumental in aiding Iraqi Christians suffering from attacks by the Islamic State group said Christians remain a vital part of Iraq’s diverse society, despite their diminishing numbers.
Stephen Rasche is a recognized international expert on persecuted Christians and has served as counsel to the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Irbil, in northern Iraq, since 2010.
He has been key in assisting Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil establish anchor institutions such as a hospital and university to help Christians remain in their ancestral homeland following the Islamic State takeover of their towns from 2014 to 2017 and the subsequent liberation.
“As Archbishop Warda says, Christians have survived, and now it’s their time to show a reason for them to be needed and not just needy. They survived ISIS,” Rasche told an online audience April 28 while speaking to the Washington, D.C.-based Religious Freedom Institute on his recent book, The Disappearing People: The Tragic Fate of Christians in the Middle East.
Rasche said it was difficult for Westerners to understand the deep trauma Christians in Iraq have experienced.
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