For centuries Iraq sheltered one of the largest Christian populations in the region. At one point Baghdad was the center of Christian scholarship in all of the Middle East, and pilgrims visited its ancient monasteries and its shrines to prophets like Jonah, Daniel, Ezekiel and Nahum.
Iraq was, after all, the place where Christians believed God created mankind. It was where Abraham was born, and within its borders rests the ancient cities of Nineveh and Babylon. The Gospel had arrived in Iraq from the preaching of one of Christ’s apostles who eventually converted nearly every Assyrian.
Now, what took thousands of years to build has been destroyed in a single decade, and in plain sight of the world.
Can it be that we have stood by quietly while nearly 2000 years of Christianity have been nearly eliminated from Iraq?
The Archbishop of Mosul told me when I met him in Iraq last month, “I am an archbishop and I now have no churches. I have nothing but God. I am not afraid of anything. I have lost everything.”
Behind the bombs and bloodshed, beyond the sectarian violence and political posturing, a war is raging against individual lives whose stories are as heartbreaking as they are numerous — like the Iraqi woman I read about yesterday whose only child, a beautiful 3-year-old girl, was taken by ISIS.
The mom and her husband were then driven out of the city and thrown out of a bus to walk for seven hours to the nearest city. To this day, they have no idea what has come of their precious child.
All of this happened for one reason: They were Christians.
Now that desperate couple, along with hundreds of thousands of others, lives as refugees inside their own country, facing a frigid Iraqi winter with insufficient shelter to survive it.
If something doesn’t happen, they will have survived ISIS, only to freeze to death. Then ISIS will win anyhow, and their only child will not have parents to come back to if she is eventually freed.
The cover of the monthly magazine published by ISIS recently featured a picture of St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, with an ISIS flag superimposed atop the Egyptian obelisk that adorns the entryway to the global Catholic Church.
That picture was a chilling reminder of the ambitions of these maniacs. The article promised that ISIS would break the crosses of the Christians and sell and trade their women.
This is what they have done there, and it is what they would like to do here.
Johnnie More has more at the link.
Read the whole thing.
Pray for wisdom for those in influential places who might have the ability to effect change. Pray for good to triumph over evil.
Pray for those affected by the world's weakness and apathy.