Christian refugees from Iraq land in Prague

An airplane carrying the first group of 10 Christian refugees from Iraq has landed at Václav Havel Airport in Prague. The acceptance of this group was authorised by the government back in December 2015.

The group coming from the region around Iraq’s Mosul are running away from the so-called Islamic State (Deash), which conquered Mosul back in 2014.

At first, it was expected that 27 of the total 153 Christians that were approved to come to the Czech Republic would arrive. But only two families, totalling ten people, were granted permission to leave from Lebanon, where they fled. The remaining 17 are likely to depart for the Czech Republic in the upcoming days or weeks.

Immediately after their arrival, the group applied for an asylum. “We would like to thank the Czech Republic, the government and residents,” one of them said.

At the moment, they will be staying in Okruhlík resort centre in Jihlava. They will remain there for a couple of months until they will acclimatise and learn basics of the Czech language. After that, they will be granted a freedom of movement and they will be able to look for a job. Both of the families want to stay in the Czech Republic permanently even though they don’t know much about the country. Back in Lebanon, they said that the only thing they know is that the Czech Republic is a free country somewhere in Europe which tolerates Christians.

They are hoping to start a new life here after horrifying experiences during the one and a half year long escape from the violence in their home country.

The care for the refugees is financed entirely by the Generation 21 foundation which also organizes the whole project with the approval from the government.