Last week we shared a little about the conflict in Gaza. This week we want to draw attention to the current tensions in Iraq which are affecting thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters. As before, the tensions there have implications for those right across the Middle East, especially for our fellow believers.
One reporter has summed up the awful truth of what is happening in Iraq: "Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst" (Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader). For more from him watch the video here. It's important to note that some of what is said there may not be accurate - the Gospel Coalition have written a post challenging some of the details shared by Arabo - but what we can be certain of is that many fellow believers are suffering as a result of the ISIS.
Urgent prayers are requested as tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians flee for their lives as Islamist militants surge across northern Iraq towards the largest city of the Kurdish region, Erbil. Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian city, has been left all but abandoned as the Islamic State group advances through minority communities in the country’s north-west. Late last night (Thursday) the UN security council condemned the attacks and urged international support for the Iraqi government. Contacts in Kurdistan say, “In general we are really impressed by the way the Kurdistan is welcoming and supporting people of all backgrounds who have suffered at the hands of the Da’ash [as the Islamic State is known by Kurds]. The Baghdad government and world powers have been deeply concerned by the offensive. The Guardian newspaper reports that US president Barack Obama has ordered targeted air strikes against the militants and airdrops to help the fleeing Iraqi refugees. UN officials say an estimated 200,000 new refugees are seeking sanctuary in the Kurdish north from the extremists who have pursued them since the weekend.
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