Iraqi Christians: 'We are worse off now' despite Pence's promise to help


Iraqi Christians say despite promises from Mike Pence and the Trump administration, they were better off under President Obama.

Iraqi Christians say that Mike Pence hasn't delivered on his promises of a better life for them, and they were better off under the Obama administration.

Last year, Pence announced a new plan that would shift funding away from programs administered by the United Nations to aid religious groups persecuted by ISIS.

Instead, Pence promised that money would directly fund relief efforts and work with private organizations to help.

"This is the moment, now is the time, and America will support these people in their hour of need," Pence said in a speech at the In Defense of Christians summit.

But now Christians in Iraq are slamming Pence for bearing false witness. They say their situation is more dire than ever.

"We are left with still many thousands of families to care for and services to provide, and not a penny with which to do it," Archbishop Bashar Warda, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in northern Iraq, told Fox News. "In this sense, we are worse off now than we were two years ago."

Fox reports that Christian groups in the region have been told by USAID that projects they have submitted for financing are not being funded. Often, the funding has been withheld without explanation.

The failure to fund those projects has forced Christians to leave Iraq, rather than build the strong communities Pence promised in his speech.

At the same time, Fox notes that private-sector donations "have apparently dried up" thanks to the Trump administration's funding failures.

Despite big talk from Pence on his and Trump's behalf, religious minorities in the region have been left out in the cold.

Even worse, the administration's decision to weigh heavily on behalf of aid to Christian groups, even though others in the region need support, has made them more of a target for the Islamic State. Meanwhile, nobody is getting the level of support they need.

Pence holds himself up to be a fierce advocate for Christian interests around the world. But after big talk about helping Iraqi Christians, they are worse off thanks to missteps from Trump. His rhetoric was empty and the administration's actions have hurt, not helped.