Iraqi Christians Are Still Waiting, Mr. Pence

Before 2003, some 1.4 million Christians lived in Iraq. Today nearly 9 in 10 are gone, thanks to chaos in the region and the murderous reign of Islamic State. The number of Yazidis, another ancient religious minority, has plummeted as well.

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump rightly railed against the Obama administration for not doing enough to help. Speaking at a dinner last October, Vice President Mike Pence said change was already on the way.

“Tonight, it is my privilege to announce that President Trump has ordered the State Department to stop funding ineffective relief efforts at the United Nations,” Mr. Pence said. “From this day forward, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID”—the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Stirring words, but seven months later the persecuted religious communities in Iraq still haven’t received direct support. Two groups, the Nineveh Reconstruction Committee and the Catholic University in Erbil, earlier this year jointly put forward USAID proposals totaling $5 million.

For years these groups have run humanitarian efforts for the faithful of Nineveh. They intended to use the funds from USAID to help minority peoples preserve their cultures and protect their property rights. But in May the proposals were summarily denied.
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