Mosul is Liberated! Prayers Still Needed
Since June 2014, Mosul has been under the control of Islamic State, an Islamic extremist group. We can now declare the city liberated from ISIS!
Your prayers, support and encouragment for the Christians in Iraq has made a substantial difference—both in the physical and spiritual battle in Mosul.
Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi recently declared liberation and celebrated with the Iraqi people and fighters.
Liberated Mosul signifies a major shift in the fight against ISIS and the violence the group brings in its wake.
The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, first made the declaration of the self-proclaimed caliph from a mosque in Mosul in 2014. Today, ISIS has lost much of its territory in northeastern Syria and northwestern Iraq.
As freedom has been brought back, joy has been shared, although this victory was brought forth through tears and sorrow. As a final act of defiance, ISIS below up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri on June 22.
The gravity of this liberation should not be overlooked. Mosul was an important Islamic State stronghold. ISIS featured the city in propaganda videos, displaying it as an example of utopian governance with a bustling economy.
Before the war, there were 2.4 million people in Mosul, but many fled after ISIS took control.
Iraqi forces attempted to thwart Islamic State’s plans with month-long battles, and slowly, Mosul was the last main urban center in their control. Now, it is liberated!
Maintaining this liberation will not be easy. The importance of local leaders stepping in to protect and prevent any weak links in their militaries will be crucial.
We know that these ISIS territory losses do not mean that the group and their ideology will dwindle. ISIS has self-identified these losses and remained steadfast in their surety of their mission, sharing: “Oh people of error, it (the state) is remaining, not vanishing, anchored like the mountains.”
As believers, we must continue to pray for those within this group. They are living in such opposition to the truth and God’s ways. They are not outside of God’s reach, though, so we pray that they would be saved and changed by the gospel and live for God’s glory alone.
We must pray for believers in the region and throughout the world. Although this is a huge victory and answer to prayer, we know that as we celebrate this liberation, another sorrow could spring up. Pray for believers to, just as they have been while fleeing ISIS, be anchored in Christ and the gospel as their surety and hope and guidance.
We must pray for the situation at large. Although this is such needed liberation, the group may ramp up their efforts in a different manner, still targeting and persecuted believers in different ways or regions. This doesn’t mean ISIS is no longer a threat. Let us press on to remember these believers and this group and this situation. We entrust it to God, and we pray for Him to bring glory out of these ashes.
*representative image used