Since the civil war began, Christians in Syria have been specifically targeted by ISIS and other extremist groups. In the neighboring country of Iraq, Christians were displaced when ISIS arrived in their hometowns in the summer of 2014. Many were forced to leave everything behind in Mosul and Qaraqosh and start over. Some had their loved ones kidnapped or murdered. All have suffered for bearing the name of Jesus Christ.
These displaced Christians have been specifically targeted for their faith and represent some of the most vulnerable refugees in this refugee Crisis.
- In 2003, there were more than 2 million Christians in Iraq. Today, only thousands remain.
- Christians were specifically targeted by ISIS in both of these countries for their faith. ISIS marked their homes with the letter N (for Nazarene) and destroyed historic churches and Christian villages.
- More than 7.6 million Christians have been displaced since the beginning of the war in Syria. ISIS wishes to completely eradicate Christian presence and influence in the region.
- Iraqi government ID cards have a section for religion. This makes it all too easy for Christians to be discriminated against, especially when trying to obtain aid.
Now, they find themselves in tents, portable cabins, unfinished apartment complexes and other temporary housing. The camp pictured here is a relatively well-equipped one, with portable cabins that provide protection from the region’s extreme temperatures – ranging from scorching heat in the summer to chilling cold in the winter. The looming question now is how to best transition those living in temporary shelters to permanent housing solutions.
The effective distribution of food and hygiene materials is key, and in this particular camp – one with comparably rich amenities – the process is quite organized. From warehouse to plate, the food travels with care, thanks to numerous volunteers and financial supporters. In a photo below, the contents of a food pack are shown. These staple items, including chickpeas, rice and oil, are supplemented with eggs and other produce and delivered to the camps, where they are rationed out to each family.
With more than 9 million displaced Christians,
there is currently a need for at least:
10 families per
week to receive
100 NEW families
per day needing
How Open Doors is working
Open Doors has been on the ground in this region for over two decades, partnering with persecuted Christians and enabling them to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to their communities. While other organizations have left, as many were not expecting this to be a long-term crisis, Open Doors is equipped to be there for the long haul.
How You Can Help
Join with us in providing crucial items like food and hygiene kits, Bibles and trauma counseling. The need continues to grow, with the number of displaced Christians increasing every day. Your continued prayers and financial support are changing the lives of these persecuted Christians, reminding them that their family around the world has not forgotten them. Thank you for continuing to stand One With Them.