As sectarian violence in Iraq escalated out of control, religious minorities were hit particularly hard. IRAP volunteers met with a community of Assyrian Christian refugees at a church service in Amman in 2010. Forced to flee Baghdad after their families were targeted and their churches were bombed, they were determined to preserve their unique community and religious traditions during their difficult stay in Jordan. Unable to work in Jordan or return to Iraq, many struggle to get by on dwindling savings or have been forced to rely on the generosity of others. For many in the congregation, resettlement in the West was the only sustainable option. Yet the resettlement process is difficult and slow, leaving families stranded for years.
Law students from IRAP met with the congregation in small groups to hear their stories, answer questions and discuss their legal needs. Some families are now working with us toward resettlement in the United States, where they will be safe from danger and religious persecution.