Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, and now Jordan are in tumult. The ancient Chaldean and Coptic Christian communities are on pins and needles. Priests and prominent Christian politicians have been murdered. There have been bombings at churches in Baghdad and Alexandria.
But the Christian community in the Iraq portion of Kurdistan is laying the groundwork for a new hospital and university. Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Kurdish capital of Erbil says the initiatives have received approval of the regional government. They will provide jobs and assistance for locals, as well as the massive numbers of minorities, particularly Christians, who have fled Baghdad, Mosul, and even Basra for the relative security of Kurdistan. This is hopeful news.
The Kurdish north was largely untouched by the violence of the recent liberation of Iraq. It had flourished for the 12 years after the 1991 Gulf War, protected by American and allied aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone put in place at the end of that war. So Kurdistan had already become rather autonomous in the north, which left it well-positioned economically and politically to function as a safer, more secure portion of the country at present.
Archbishop Warda says the facilities could be open in two short years, but massive amount of fundraising must happen first. Hopefully the global Christian community and humanitarian NGOs will help make that a reality.