Major Christian Leaders Declare That Trump Is Continuing The Same Obama Policies In Iraq, And That Persecuted Christians Are Not Even Getting Enough Aid

By Theodore Shoebat 

Major Christian leaders are now declaring that Trump is continuing the same Obama policies in Iraq and that Christians have not been getting enough aid. According to one report:

Iraqi Christian communities are in dire need of humanitarian and reconstruction assistance as they continue to receive a minimal amount of aid from the U.S., and as Iranian-backed militias and Shiite Muslims have moved into villages and towns where Christians once lived, a prominent human rights activist has warned.

As their population continues to dwindle, Iraqi Christians are struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of the Islamic State and are getting little to no help from the U.S. and the Trump administration.

Although Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 earlier this year that said persecuted religious minorities in Iraq have access to U.S. humanitarian aid, religious minorities like Christians and Yazidis are still having trouble accessing any aid funding.

“That Consolidated Appropriations Act has essentially been ignored by the State Department,” Nina Shea, who served for 12 years on the U.S. International Commission on International Religious Freedom and a prominent human rights lawyer, told The Christian Post this week.

As the Christian population in Iraq has decreased from over 1.4 million to less than 250,000 in the last 15 years, Shea, the director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, wrote an op-led last week arguing that “the Trump administration is “making the situation worse by continuing Obama policies that effectively exclude these non-Muslims from U.S. aid in Iraq.”

Although the U.S. has provided over $1.4 billion in humanitarian aid to Iraq and over $250 million in reconstruction aid, very little of that funding has been used to benefit Christian and Yazidi communities due to a U.S. policy that requires aid money for Iraq to be funneled through the United Nations and U.N. displacement camps. Christians and other religious minorities are afraid to go to U.N. camps out of fear of persecution from Muslims.

“[W]e remain deeply concerned that the American government has still directed little or no aid to the Christian community in Iraq despite its clear declaration that genocide was committed by ISIS against that Christian community,” Archdiocese of Erbil’s General Counsel Stephen Rasche said in a statement shared with CP.

“President Trump has promised to aid the victims of ISIS’ genocide and Congress has placed a statutory obligation on the State Department and USAID to do so within FY 2017, which ends in just a few days. We urge these government agencies to make good on President Trump’s promise and to immediately assist the Christian, Yazidi and other religious minority victims of genocide in Iraq.”

While Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq struggle to get aid and assistance from the U.S. government, the State Department announced last week that it was giving $32 million in humanitarian aid funding to help Rohingya Muslim refugees in Myanmar.

Although she has no problem with the U.S. providing aid to the refugees in Myanmar, Shea said she wonders why it’s taking the State Department so long to provide such aid to religious minority communities in Iraq, considering the agency showed the ability to act quickly in “responding to headlines” about the plight of the minority group in Burma.

“I don’t think there is any rational explanation. I just think, again, we are seeing some of the Obama people re-appointed and some are just there carrying out these policies. Some of them are foreign service people who have no clue of what is going on,” Shea surmised. “Part of it is that you don’t have the political appointees in influence, in the mid-range, and the top-level people for some reason are not responding.”

In an emailed response to CP, a State Department official said: “Any assertion that the U.S. is not providing support to vulnerable communities in Iraq is false. Since FY 2014, the U.S. government has provided nearly $1.7 billion to address the humanitarian needs of Iraqis both inside Iraq and in the region, including vulnerable members of minority communities, like the Yazidis and Christians. This includes an additional $264 million announced on Sept. 20. In addition, we have provided $115 million, with more pledged, to the successful U.N. DP Funding Facility for Stabilization. This has resulted in 2.2 million Iraqis returning to their homes. A sizable proportion of this assistance is in minority communities.

The official added, “U.S. humanitarian assistance is offered on the basis of need, rather than religious affiliation, but minorities are among the principal beneficiaries. Humanitarian assistance is provided to both internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps, and to IDPs living in communities — often with families.”

Shea said that the U.N. has refused to give money to churches in Kurdistan that have been sheltering thousands of refugees who’ve stayed out of U.N. camps. She said that she was told by the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil Bashar Warda that the archdiocese spends about “$800,000 per month just to feed” the displaced, not including the costs to shelter or medicine.

“They can’t get out from under that humanitarian aid to help people resettle and go back and build houses,” Shea said.

Although humanitarian aid organizations like the Knights of Columbus, Samaritan’s Purse and others have donated millions to help rebuild Christian homes in the Nineveh Plains, there is still a large need for funding to help Christian towns and villages rebuild infrastructure, restore power and restore plumbing.

According to Shea, the U.N. has provided very little substantive help to restore Christian towns. Although the U.N. has carried out some small projects in Christian towns, Shea asserts that those projects are only “cosmetic” and won’t entice Christians to return.

“In Bartella, we are funding through the U.N. the repair of a canopy on a municipal building. Then, there is another project there — a repair on the mayor’s office. These are not going to be the kinds of projects that draw families and make them want to stay with everything in rubble in their town, and there is no water and electricity in their town,” Shea stressed, comparing the situation to going into hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and only repairing a canopy on a government building when the whole island is without power.

According to Shea, Christian leaders don’t have any say when it comes to the U.N. task force that decides which projects to do in the Nineveh Plains.

“These people are so needy, they need everything. No one is really listening to them,” Shea told CP.

She warned that the U.S. should really be bothered by the fact that “Iran is aggressively establishing schools and mosques and libraries and other structures within the main Christian towns.”

“What Iran does is give money to the Shiite majority and they buy the Christian’s land,” she added. “The Christians feel like they have no hope of getting back and they are intimidated by the Iranian militias in their towns and they sell out.”

“[Christians] are losing heart,” Shea stressed. “They are on the brink of extinction and they are seeing Iran move in.”

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  • Again, what is the hold up, Mr. Trump? Are you now going back on your words to help the Christians? It’s why I elected you, Mr, Trump.

    • susan

      Me too.

      • Kamau41

        Very sad to see this administration following the same disastrous foreign policies as their predecessors. We saw this would happen, so it shouldn’t come to us as no surprise.

    • jmaggief

      The deep state Obama holdovers are doing this. Do you know how many of these people are embedded in the government? Thousands! Or do you think the president is giving orders not to help the Christians?

  • filomena seiffert

    Trump can promise what he wants but who give the orders are the generals and the CIA.

  • juanisaac

    What about the Iraqi and Syrian Christians already here who are also about to be deported? I read the story about one Iraqi permanent resident who had a check forgery conviction 30 years ago. He did his time in jail and then has done nothing since. But he is about to be deported. We should not forget about those already here.

  • PARKS CURTIS

    I have been really disappointed in a lot of left turns Shoebat has been making while appeasing Trump supports , … I was in disbelief as he made the ” not every muslim ” statement and Claimed Trump was somehow NOT evil as he lies for and Arms them / promotes and Imports Muslims . Its FACTUAL but people;e are in denial because they let the media do the thinking for them rather than authentic well researched sources on their own as our forefathers indicated was our DUTY .

    You can Stop Hordes of Muslim,s and that is exactly what the Crusades And WW2 did (Nazi Muslim hordes ) But we did not finish the jobs well enough , A crusader in my family i recored lamented that we had given our fortune to our enemy,its who mistreated us in rebuilding Japan and Germany , that was a man that lost many friends and a piece of his own body .

    Shoebats cover for Trump disgustingly which makes them money even the title ” Claim ” how is FACT a ” claim ” ?

    Diverting to Iraq alone and intensionally missing the big picture as Trump ARMS MUSLIMS , like I said aa disgusting journalistic betrayal for greed of a already mislead audience , shoat would rather sleep up the ” radical muslim ” farce than make the corrections and educate people top save Christians !

    it is more than just a hobby for muslims to destroy/subjugate non muslim,s : its their religion

    I am curious about your Kurd remark

    The Kurds are mostly Muslim,s too and many of them have persecuted Christians but it gets sweptpt under the carpet as they are fighting in inter-jihadists ( watch thats another one that will be stolen from me )battles

  • PARKS CURTIS

    WHAT IS Tt ?

  • Kelly Ann

    Well no wonder if the UN is in control of the funds, don’t expect any changes from the White House, Trump or no Trump, don’t matter who’s in charge. That’s one pipe the valve needs to come off and seal up, if your gonna drain the swamp better call in the pipe fitters.