An Eyewitness Account with Fr. Douglas Bazi
Living his entire life in Iraq, Fr. Douglas Bazi has seen his share of war. His church in Baghdad was bombed several times and in 2006 he was kidnapped and tortured for nine days by an Islamist terrorist group simply for being a Christian. He suffered two broken vertebrae in his back and his nose and teeth were smashed using a hammer. In 2014, Father Douglas founded a refugee center, which now houses hundreds of Christians fleeing from persecution in ISIS-dominated regions of Iraq. The camp, which is located in the predominately Christian Ankawa neighborhood of Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, boasts prefabricated housing units, a library, and a strong emphasis on education. Many parts of the world have declared the mass atrocities being carried out by ISIS as “genocide.” Fr. Bazi, along with others, lobbied the United States to follow suit. This past March, the U.S. Secretary of State formally declared that ISIS has committed genocide against Christians and other religious groups.