“A true victory in Mosul would mean an ‘open city’ with religious freedoms protected and the rule of law enforced,” says Steve Wagner, President of Solidarity with the Persecuted Church
“The Iraqi Army, and its coalition partners, are moving much more quickly than expected in recapturing the city of Mosul from ISIS,” said Wagner. “With one and a half million civilians in the city, combat is difficult, but as the coalition forces move into the center of the city, neighborhoods are being retaken in half the time expected.”
Already citizens are appearing on the streets with freshly shaven faces, happily cutting off the beards required under ISIS occupation. But as the military coalition advances, larger questions are being raised.
“Mosul is the largest city remaining under ISIS occupation and it will shortly be liberated,” stated SPC’s Wagner. “But the critical question is, will freedom from ISIS bring freedom of religion?
“Christians have begun returning to their villages around Mosul, beginning the slow process of rebuilding their churches, their homes and their lives. But they return with fear that lawlessness, corruption and bigotry of another stripe will replace the terror of the Islamic State. Religious freedom was only marginally assured in pre-ISIS Mosul. The new, liberated Mosul must become a truly liberated city with the religious liberties of all protected and enforced under the rule of law”, continued the Solidarity with the Persecuted Church President.
“SPC calls on all the partners in the anti-ISIS coalition, and most particularly on President-elect Trump and his new administration to make a priority of creating a truly liberated Mosul. A Mosul where Christians can live in peace and prosperity with their neighbors, free from prejudice and protected in the practice of their faith. That will be a true victory over ISIS and all the forces of religious hatred and bigotry”, concluded Steve Wagner.
Solidarity with the Persecuted Church is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to bringing awareness to the issue of Christian persecution around the world and to providing practical, non-governmental assistance to Christians and Christian churches in need. For more information visit https://solidaritypersecutedchurch.org.