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News / Thoughts

Iraq: Pray for Tereze and her family as they rebuild

September 5, 2022

It’s been six years since Christians from Karamles, a town in Iraq, started to return home after years of displacement due to war and terror. A lot can happen in six years – your prayers and gifts have helped to rebuild and transform their community!

Images: Left – Tereze, 18 months old, living as a refugee in Erbil. Right – Tereze, now seven years old, back home in Karamles

In 2016, Tereze was just 18 months old.

Her parents married only two weeks before IS militants invaded Karamles. Fleeing to Erbil was not quite the honeymoon Thomas and Nariman had hoped for. The newlyweds found a place to stay in ‘Karamles Camp’, a building complex with several apartments and a central courtyard. Families shared houses, kitchens and sanitation.

Not long afterwards, Tereze was born during their displacement in 2015.

Tereze is now seven years old and lives with her parents, who have moved back to Karamles. The family returned to the town sometime after the liberation – but coming home has not been without sorrow. Thomas, Tereze’s father and a farmer, explains that he finds it very difficult to know which choices are the best for his family and the future of his children.

“Living in Erbil [the city they fled to] is very expensive because of the high rents,” he says. “This left us with not much choice but to return [to Karamles]. When we ran from Daesh [IS], we lost all the crops and income from it, but I’m cultivating the land again now, trying to gain some income.”

Although IS has been subdued, Thomas’s fears for the future are not gone – but he knows that, through prayer, a better future is possible: “Please pray for us. The situation here is unstable and I am afraid about the future of my children. I am praying that they can have a future better than ours.”

Your prayers and support are really making a difference for our persecuted church family in Iraq. Please continue to stand with believers like Tereze and her family in Karamles as they try and rebuild their lives and hope for a brighter future.

Pray now…

  • For Tereze, her family and the community in Karamles as their rebuild and re-adjust their lives
  • That God would continue to meet the needs of His people, and comfort them as they recover from displacement
  • That the church in Karamles would be a beacon of hope for all people in the region.

Five things you can do now:

1. Add you your light to our interactive prayer map and help make hope last across the Middle East. Do that here…

2. Learn more and pray: Get our free glow-in-the-dark World Watch List Map and find out more about the places where faith costs the most. Get your map here…

3. Pray regularly: Every Monday night at 7pm we’ll be praying one prayer for one minute for the one in seven Christians around the world who face persecution. Set an alarm and tune in…

4. Choose to Lose: Raise money by getting sponsored to lose something you love for a short time. Sign up and we’ll send you a fundraising pack…

5. Send a message of hope: Imagine getting a letter from a Christian on the other side of the world who’d heard about you and was praying for you – encouraging right? Well, you can send encouragement now to young Christians facing persecution. Do that here now…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.