In the midst of fighting in Qaraqosh, Iraq, two priests walked through the doors of their old church, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, which has been destroyed and vandalized by Islamic State jihadists.The two priests, followed by members of the Iraqi army, climbed to the top of the church and created a makeshift cross out of two pieces of plywood and cooper wire.
According to Florian Nuehof, from The Daily Beast, both priests were visibly overcome with emotion.” I’m very happy now that we are able to return to our church,” says Father Amar. However, he was also saddened by the ruins around him, “It’s very hard for us to see our town like this. Everything is damaged. Do you see that the bell of the church is missing? They destroyed it. Why? I don’t know.”
On October 20, Iraqi special forces pushed into the traditionally Christian town of Bertella, which is nine miles from Mosul. The assault is part of the wide-scale offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State. Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati said “Bartella was liberated yesterday, and today we are inside its church. I bring the good news to our Christian brothers that the church is liberated.”
One Allah Akbar flag removed, another raised over church: The photo of the Iraq national flag being raised over a church in the Christian town of Bartella, Iraq that was liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) in October was featured in newspapers all over
Every major Internet news site featured a story about the attack on Mosul featured the photo and it appeared in many TV news reports as well. What is not reported is the symbolism of the Iraqi flag being raised over a church instead of the town government center. Why was the church chosen to raise the flag? To show that Allah is still master!
Allah Akbar is still Allah Akbar. The Arabic text in the center of the Iraqi flag says “Allah Akbar.” The Islamic State (ISIS) flag that was removed said “Allah Akbar”
When the United States toppled Saddam Husain the new government installed received no guidelines to write a new constitution. As a result, Sharia was made the supreme law just like in Iran. The Iraq constitutions states in Article 2, “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.” The same article establishes Islam as the “official religion.” There are no real guarantees of freedom of religion for Christians.
After ISIS captured Mosul in June 2014, Christians from Qaraqosh, Mosul and other neighboring towns were given three choices: convert to Islam, pay a jizya tax, or die. By August of 2014, 50,000 people left Qaraqosh to seek asylum.
One Syrian Christian mother shared the horrors she endured under the Islamic State, including the death of her son. Alice Assaf told interviewers: “Later on, we heard that the militants grabbed six strong men working at the bakery and burned them inside the oven. After that, they caught some 250 kids and kneaded them like dough in the bakery dough machine.” ISIS jihadists ISIS jihadists took her son, George, to the backyard and shot and killed him and buried him in a mass grave.
Christians faced greater oppression today than under Saddam Hussain. This is why Christians fled from Bagdad north to the Nineveh Plains and Kurdish areas. It is in these areas that our Diapers for Refugees and Christmas for Refugees program is operating.
The Diapers for Refugees program aims to send high quality disposable diapers to these Christian refugee families located in camps around Erbil. Families in these camps are dying from diaper rash because of the inability to wash cloth diapers with soap and clean water. Due to the lack of diapers, mothers are forced to use donated clothing as diapers for their children, which still can’t be cleaned properly.
With help from our donors, the Diapers for Refugees program gave nearly 300 families enough diapers to last for three months, totaling 160,000 diapers in the first shipment which took place in March 2016. In June of 2016, 160,000 more diapers were sent and distributed to families in the refugee camps located in Erbil. Our commitment for the remainder of 2016 is to provide these Christian refugee camps with diapers every three months, totaling 640,000 disposable diapers given to displaced Christian families.
The price of a single shipment of diapers ranges from $18,000 to $20,000 or 11 cents per diaper. These shipments are distributed by large truckloads to Christian refugee camps across Northern Iraq.
The Islamic State has declared war on Christianity too many times to count. Christianity is under attack and thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters are dying because of it. These Christian refugees need our continued prayers and support. Learn how you can help.
The Christmas for Refugees program helps displaced Christians from Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon that are being ignored by Islamic run charities. In 2013, 2014, Christmas events that included hot meals were served to Christian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon. In 2015 the program was
expanded to Christian IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) in Iraq who fled the Islamic State as the city of Mosul and Christians villages nearby were overrun. Much of the Nineveh Plain was also stolen from Christian families who fled to the Kurdish areas in the northeast. In 2016 the number of children served will be increased.
Christmas for Refugees is much more than one hot meal at Christmas. The many hours long program includes a warm place to stay for a day with Gospel themed plays and puppet shows along with games and traditional Christmas songs. Gospel themed coloring books and work books are supplied to the children and in some cases Arabic language picture Bibles. Each child takes home a gift box for themselves and their family. The gift box for each child’s family varies by area, even within the same nation. The family gift is a box of essential items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, tissues, sponges, feminine hygiene items as well as dish and laundry soaps. Learn how you can help.
All gifts to Christmas for Refugees received by December 1st will be doubled up to $110,800 – IF – $55,400 is raised. While some of the matching funds are in escrow, the majority of the money will not be given to Christmas for Refugees until the matching challenge is met.
To count as a part of the matching challenge your envelope must be postmarked before December 1st or your online donation received before December 1st.