In 2014, hundreds of Christian families had to flee Mosul and the cities of the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq. They had abandoned their homes and all their belongings in the face of the advance of the Islamic State (IS) militias, they finally found refuge in Baghdad in and around a building in the Zayouna district, now known as the “Virgin Mary” Refugee Camp.

These more than 120 Christian families have been asked to move out of the building complex in which they are housed. A corresponding order was previously issued by the Directorate of Investments in Baghdad. A new shopping center is to be built in the area.

In recent days, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako had visited the complex, which was named after the “Virgin Mary”, to express his solidarity with the people staying in the refugee shelters on land owned by the state to express and speak to displaced families about their concerns.

With the new school year that has just begun and winter approaching, the Iraqi Cardinal turned to the political authorities, according to the Chaldean Patriarchate, “to postpone the evacuation for at least a year or to find a reasonable alternative to house these families”.

Credit: Agenzia Fides