Since Jesus was crucified the cross has always been a symbol of pain and hope. That old amazing hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, pretty much gets to the point: ‘Did ever such love and sorrow meet?’
The image at the top of this article is the cross on a church in Bashiqa, a town near Mosul in Iraq was liberated from the so-called Islamic State in 2016. The original cross was pulled down by the extremist group, who burnt homes as they fled from the advancing Iraqi army.
At Easter we especially remember that the cross is central to our faith. It shows our sin and it shows God’s love. It shows death, but also life. It shows an end, but also a new beginning. There is sorrow, but also hope.
This cross on the church in Bashiqa is no different. It is there to serve as reminder of the pain and trauma of the last few years that many in Iraq have endured. But this newer cross is also a sign to the whole town and region that there is a hope for the future.
But the new cross is also a sign to the whole town and region that there is a hope for the future.
Open Doors is working alongside local partners, restoring lives, buildings and communities, but it will take a long time.
Ghazan, an Iraqi Christian who fled Mosul and is now working in a bakery set up with the help of Open Doors, says:
“I am a Christian and Jesus teaches us how to be patient… this situation forced us to practise that. I have lost everything, but I thank God that my family is still with me.”
Please continue to pray, speak out and act on behalf of our family across the Middle East. Here’s some immediate ways that you can respond:
Pray for the the families rebuilding lives, homes and businesses across Iraq, and those who are planning to return. Ask for strength and provision. Pray for energy and wisdom for Open Doors partners working to support believers in the region. Ask God to continue to use His church in Iraq as a light in the darkness.
Get free prayer resources here…
Want to respond and help your persecuted family around the world? Try these things:
Get our World Watch List prayer map and resources to learn more and pray regularly. Do that here…
Blackout during lent – get sponsored to give up something you love for a short time in the run up to Easter and raise money and prayer for those who have lost everything because of their faith in Jesus. Sign up here…
Sign a letter to your MP asking them to act on behalf of persecuted Christian women and girls. Follow the link to a simple form that will find your MP and contact them for you…
Sign the letter now…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.