One year ago today, persecuted believers made headlines the world over. Reporters told us that militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had seized the Iraqi city of Mosul, while footage of black flags flying over government buildings filled our living rooms. The fall of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, reminded many that the group’s efforts to establish a An Islamic State led by a caliph, a political and religious leader seen as a successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. His power and authority are absolute. More would have horrific humanitarian implications, not the least for the region’s Christian population.
By the time that Mosul fell, ISIS was already notorious for its brutality – including beheadings and crucifixions – towards those opposed to its goals in Syria. When militants arrived in their city, Christians in Mosul fled to surrounding areas, well aware of the terror that would ensue if they stayed.
What’s Happening Now
Today, let’s realize that this story isn’t a thing of the past. According to the UN, Iraq is on the ‘verge of collapse.’ There are roughly three million internally displaced people in the country, and over half of them are in need of life-saving aid. Meanwhile, the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) continues to expand its reach outside of Iraq and Syria, with affiliate organizations in roughly a dozen countries, according to the Wall Street Journal.
While we may be tempted to despair, let us take courage and realize that God is at work in Iraq, bringing scores of new believers into His flock through this persecution that aims to eradicate His people completely.
How You Can Help
Join Open Doors in our effort to help these believers who suffer for the sake of Christ.
PRAY: Continue to pray for persecuted Christians who have fled the Islamic State.