Stuff to get you thinking, praying and acting... 

Sorrow and love

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 new cross on a church in Bashiqa, a town near Mosul in Iraq that has recently been liberated from the so-called Islamic State. The original cross was pulled down by the extremist group, who burnt homes as they fled from the advancing Iraqi army.

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 new 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 the new 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 to begin the process of 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 who returning to homes across Iraq, and those who are planning to return soon. 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.
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Every £15 could go towards rebuilding a home or setting up a family in employment in Iraq.
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Sign the One Million Voices of Hope petition, calling for equality, dignity and responsibility for Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq. Ask others to sign it too.
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