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“We have really suffered as Christians. Although we are safe here, living is very difficult due to high costs and being in exile,” Mr. Oraha says. “We must pray to live the remainder of our lives without injustice or threat. We ask God and those responsible to help us get the stability we need.”

Thirty-year-old Laith Azza says the only way forward for him and his young family is to go abroad.

“We have no more trust in the Iraqi government, even if we were able to return to Mosul,” he says.

Mr. Azza, a Christian religion teacher, says although minority Christians are technically protected by Iraq’s laws, in the end, neither the government security forces nor Kurdish fighters shielded them from the extremists.

“In an instant we lost everything,” says Tania Akram, a middle-aged woman. “Thank God, we saved our lives and those of our daughters,” she adds, a reference to the many young women abducted by the militants and forced into sexual slavery.

In another part of the church, a group of about 20 children play games and draw colorful pictures to help them to express their feelings.

A tiny girl with a long brown braid, dressed in a pink polka dot jacket, says she helps her friends when she sees they are angry or frightened.

Dr. El-Far also coaches the teenagers who express frustration. “They say it’s horrible. There’s no structure, no schools. They sleep very late and get up just as late in the daytime,” the petite doctor commented. “They need educational and vocational programs.”

“I was supposed to finish my last year of school, but I can’t now because we had to escape,” says 18-year-old Raneen from Qaraqosh, her dark eyes welling up with tears.

To this end, CNEWA recently instituted an English language program for the Iraqi Christians at its Pontifical Mission Community Center in the Amman neighborhood of Jebel al Hussein.

“We see it as another aspect of psychosocial help being offered to the refugees,” says Amabel Sibug, one of the program’s teachers and a member of the Teresian Association, an international Catholic community of men and women called to service who have long staffed the community center.

“Classes not only help the refugees cope with boredom and hopelessness, but guide them in dealing with some of the emotional difficulties they face.”

Ms. Sibug and her colleagues also bring spiritual encouragement into the language classes.

“We pray with the refugees. We tell them that, although there will be problems in life, you are here because God has a good plan for you,” says Elisa Estrada, a Filipina also with the Teresian Association.

“ ‘No one can take God from us,’ I tell them, and then I see their eyes shine.”

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