News / Thoughts

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News / Thoughts

Iraq: Still serving, still shining

October 24, 2016

Christians in Iraq are asking for continued prayer as the battle for Mosul, a key city held by the so-called Islamic State, intensifies.

One contact told us: “On Monday the Battle for Mosul started. A coalition of Kurdish and Iraqi forces, backed by international allied forces, aims to recapture the city of Mosul – the last major stronghold of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq – and with it all of the Nineveh plain in Iraq.

“The thousands of displaced Christians in Erbil are very excited that – after being expelled from the Nineveh plain by IS in 2014 – finally an effort is taken to take back their lands.

“Most Christians in Erbil are now glued to their televisions, phones and computer screens, trying to get all the latest updates on the battle and on the status of their villages. They hope and they pray that they will be able to return to their houses, once the situation is safe.

“Several priests are reported to be at the front line currently, to pray and to be living witnesses of Christ there.

“We ask you to pray for this situation in these crucial times.”

The work goes on…

Open Doors partners are supporting 15,000 displaced families in Iraq every month with vital aid such as food and medicines, as well as through long-term projects such as micro-loans to start small businesses. Many of these people were forced to flee Mosul and the Nineveh plains to escape IS.

When asked how the battle for Mosul might affect the work of Open Doors partners in Iraq, an Open Doors coordinator told us: “For now, the battle will not impact our work directly. In Erbil things have not changed because of the situation: Christians are still displaced and are still uncertain about their future.

“It is expected that most Christians will wait for the entire Nineveh Plain to be completely safe and ‘ISIS-free’, before thinking about going back. Nobody knows how long it will take, but it now seems more likely be a matter of months than of weeks.”

Open Doors partners are monitoring the situation and are planning how they will support displaced people to return to Mosul once it is safe for them to do so.

Pray now…

This is the prayer of Martin, an Open Doors partner from the Nineveh plains:

O Lord, we trust you,
You who calmed the storm.
We pray and demand: Liberate Mosul.
Liberate Nineveh Plain.
We want to go back.
We want to go back.
We want to go back.

Our contacts in Iraq have sent us these prayer points:

  • Pray while this battle lasts. Pray for the forces of darkness to be defeated and for justice to be done, in the light of God’s Kingdom. Especially pray for Christian soldiers, joining the battle.
  • Pray for the Christians known to be living secretly in IS-held territories. Pray for their protection, and for them to experience God’s presence, amidst the violence and threats.
  • Pray for the precious lives of all the people fighting. Our God is the God of life. He doesn’t want violence and destruction. Pray for protection over the innocent, especially for civilians caught in the crossfire.
  • Pray for the pastors and church leaders in Iraq, that they will be living examples of Christ’s presence among His people.
  • Pray for the body of Christ in Iraq, that God would keep their hope alive, and strengthen them to survive these troubling times.

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