Last updated: 13 February, 2019

Iraqi Christians fearful to return home, wary of Shia militia

Thirty years ago, Bartella's population was entirely Christian. Demographic changes over the decades left the town split between Christians and an ethnic group known as Shabak, who are largely Shias. When the Islamic State (ISIS) group overran the town and the rest of northern Iraq in 2014, Bartella's entire population fled — since both communities were persecuted by the radicals.