Chaldean Catholic priest Father Aram talks about re-opening his church in Batnaya, Iraq

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Father Aram is a Chaldean Catholic priest whose church is in Batnaya, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Batnaya is the Christian town featured in our Save The Christians documentary that sat behind the ISIS front line, just a half an hour drive across the biblical Nineveh Plain from Al Qosh, one of the oldest continuous Christian settlements in the world.

Batnaya was pillaged by ISIS. In Father Aram's church, the Crucifix, all the statues and anything remotely Christian in were completely destroyed, used as target practice by radical Islamic genocidaires. The church tower was used as a sniper’s nest, the chapel as a training camp.

During the ISIS occupation, Father Aram tended his flock from Al Qosh where he opened a trauma center to help the persecuted Christians of the region. There they learn English, job skills, and study their faith.

But after Batnaya was liberated, Father Aram came back to a town in ruins. And his congregation followed, despite a lack of basic services like electricity, running water, or a local market.

In the 2 years since ISIS retreated from the Nineveh Plain, 70 Christian families have returned to their indigenous homeland. Father Aram took me behind what used to be the frontline in the fight against ISIS to his town, to see what your Save The Christians donations have done to improve the lives of the Christians of Batnaya who are refusing to be purged from their land.

You can help by donating at

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  • By Ezra Levant

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