While ISIS may be territorially defeated in Syria, many challenges remain in that region.
The Islamic State lost control of their last hold in the Middle East recently in the final battle with U.S.-backed fighters waged in Syria near the Iraqi border. Claire Evans with the persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern says it's good news and a long time coming that ISIS has been territorially defeated – but challenges still remain.
"Actually, I would even argue that those challenges are far harder than defeating them territorially," she explains to OneNewsNow, "because those conditions which gave rise to ISIS are still in place; and we see a number of examples of where these militants, when they are escaping, they just melt back into society. We don't know where they go; they disappear in Syria and Iraq.
"So, they still have that ideology in place," she continues. "[And] as long as that ideology exists, there's always this danger that ISIS could rise up again – and many Christians are expecting that."
Evans says the challenges of reconstruction toward peace will be huge. She explains most Christians in Syria have already left but those few Christians remaining are "incredibly vulnerable to these kinds of hardships that might come with reconstruction – and if we did see the rise of an ISIS 2.0, they're just incredibly at risk."