For many Christians in the Middle East, President Trump offers hope as a world leader who will finally acknowledge them as a persecuted minority in their Islam-dominated societies.
Several members of the clergy spoke on video about their feelings for the new U.S. leader and said it’s already very different from when Barrack Obama was in office.
“I love Trump because he understands this Christian matter in Iraq,” Father Immanuel, a Syriac Catholic priest in Mosul, said.
The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Erbil, Archbishop Bashar Warda, said, “I’m really encouraged to see that someone, at least, is thinking of the Christians and giving, not a priority, but at least attracting attention. There are people who are suffering.”
“For me,” Warda added, “I would say this is probably the first time that — what we call — an American politician like a president would say, ‘No, there are some people who are dying or are suffering because of their faith and we have to think seriously about them.’”
“We have confidence in Trump. Before he was elected, all of the Christians and the Yezidis are praying to win and he is now the president. We have hope he will be the savior of these minorities by his strong decisions. I think he can help us,” said Yohanna Towaya, a refugee from Qaraqosh.
An aid worker for one of the clergy, a British man named John Neill, said things were much different under President Obama:
“People here were more than disappointed with Obama, because he did nothing. So the view of Obama was terrible.
“I think people here are feeling excited about Trump, that he will do something. He stated in his election speech that he would do something about Daesh. That is an indication that he will go further and help the minorities in Iraq to get back their lives.
“If Trump cannot give them hope, then what hope is there?”
Watch the video above.