Features > A sanctuary of sorts

28 August 2014 | by Gerard Russell

A sanctuary of sorts

Iraqi Christians fled their ancestral homes in Mosul and Nineveh in fear of Islamic State. A former diplomat, who has toured their refugee camps in Kurdistan, describes here why he believes the community may yet survive Last time I visited Ankawa in 2011, it was a quiet and prosperous Christian suburb of Erbil, the Iraqi Kurds’ bustling capital. A blue-and-white statue of the Virgin Mary welcomed visitors arriving into the suburb. Although Ankawa was surrounded by majority-Muslim Erbil, it had retained its Christian character partly because, by decree of the Muslim president of Kurdistan, no non-Christian can buy property there. The relative stability offered by Kurdish protection, and the chance to get employment in one of Iraq’s few remaining islands of prosperity, had turn


Subscribe to The Tablet from just £19.99 quarterly
3 options available

Share this story

Article List

Post a Comment

You can post as a subscriber user...

User Comments (0)

Latest Issue
Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here