BAGHDAD — Christian leaders say Iraq's monasteries and churches could soon become mere relics unless something is done to curb the violence against Christians. During an Aug. 26 press conference, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch Mar Ignatius Joseph III Younan described Christians as "the most targeted and most vulnerable" minority in the region — and not just because of the Islamic State (IS).
This comes as Iraqi Christians in general, and Armenians in particular, prepare for the post-IS phase. Many of those who were driven from their homes in the Ninevah Plains are deciding whether to return. On Aug. 9, Iraqi Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Farid Rwandzi received Armenian leaders to discuss promoting their community’s cultural activity.