"Please do not be a silent bystander to our drama. We call on you to support the Christians of Iraq ... while there is still time for it."
Church leaders from the Nineveh plains of Iraq are pleading with the international community. This part of Iraq – the heartland of the historic Christian community of Iraq – was all but emptied of Christians when Islamic State (IS) fighters invaded in 2014.
And from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, a church leader wrote to Barnabas Fund this month: “I beseech you to think again of stretching your hands to help our most needy people who have being living in such a miserable conditions for well over four years.”
Barnabas responding with practical aid
Barnabas Fund is sending help through the churches to assist our Iraqi brothers and sisters with food and basic needs.
Our focus this Christmas is on the estimated 200,000 Christians who fled from Mosul (the ancient city of Nineveh) and the Christian villages of the surrounding Nineveh Plains when IS seized the territory in the summer of 2014. Most of them are living in Iraqi Kurdistan, unsettled, uncertain as to their future, struggling to support themselves.
Though IS have been ousted (for now), the Christians cannot return home yet, for non-Christian neighbours have become hostile and many Christian homes have been taken over by strangers. There are also alarming rumours of IS gathering strength again in Iraq.
Meanwhile in the broader Middle East, Syria remains in turmoil, its civil war unfinished, while the Holy Land seems poised for major violence, which is bound to affect Christians in Bethlehem, the rest of the West Bank and Gaza.
Christmas joy, New Year hope
A gift from Christians far away will do more than just help with physical needs. It will tell our Iraqi brothers and sisters that they are not forgotten. It will bring hope and joy. Four long years have passed since they fled their homes, and only God knows what 2019 will bring for Iraq and for each Christian family there.
But one certainty is that gifts from Christians around the world will tell our Iraqi brothers and sisters this Christmas that they are still remembered and loved by their Christian family. Please remember, give and pray.
If you would like to make a gift, please direct your donation to Food and Basic Needs for Christian families in Iraq 20-246Donate
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