Mosul, a major city in Iraq that has been occupied by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) for the last 3 years has been liberated. The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the victory last week.
It many ways it is good news, but the fight to claim back the city has left devastation. William, who fled Mosul to escape IS, was recently able to return to his house in Mosul, but found it completely ransacked by IS fighters. He says, “When we saw the house for the first time, I was taking pictures and was crying at the same time.”
William’s daughter, Ghada, says, “Some windows and doors are broken. They used the curtains as carpet. We had an image of Jesus on the wall, they put it on the floor and stepped on it.” William says, “They also damaged our electrical system in the house and cut the water pipes.”
Their house is not as badly damaged as some of the houses in the Nineveh Plain – some families have returned to their houses to find them completely burned out or bombed. But seeing the house he loved in such a state was still heartbreaking for William. “Our house was very nice, it was a treasure for me,” he says.
However, Ghada and William are hoping to return to Mosul. “Our only dream is to return, to go back to our house and live there again,” Ghada says. “Of course we want to go back,” William adds.
But they have real concerns about their safety. Ghada continues, “There is no real safety in Mosul at the moment. In my heart I still feel that something might happen to us when we go there.”
Open Doors has been supporting William and Ghada while they have been displaced in Erbil with practical aid through local churches and partners.
There are many families who wish to return to their homes in the liberated towns and villages in the Nineveh Plain, but who simply can’t do it on their own. They fled their homes with nothing, leaving their businesses and sources of income behind, and the Iraqi government isn’t helping them.
Your prayers and support have enabled Open Doors partners to start helping families to repair their homes and start small businesses to support themselves. But there’s much more to do.
1. Pray. Use the points below, and order our free prayer resources…
2. Give. Give online now to help Christians in Iraq to rebuild their lives. You can also order our free ‘Walk, bake, ride, run… With Them’ fundraising pack to help you raise money too!
3. Speak up. Sign the One Million Voices of Hope petition and call for a future of safety and dignity for Christians in the Middle East.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.