Iraq: Mosul under militant Islamist rebels

The ongoing conflict in Iraq has claimed many victims, and Christians have been made more vulnerable. Thousands of Christians have fled throughout the years, and the small Christian communities that remain are fragile and frightened.

Events in the last few days that saw militant Islamist groups take control of large parts of Mosul, have seen many more Christians, along with other residents of this city, feeling for safety. Here is what was written from one monastery:  I write you in a situation of violence in Mosul that is very critical and even apocalyptic. Most of the inhabitants of the city have already abandoned their houses and fled into the villages and are sleeping in the open without anything to eat or drink. Many thousands of armed men from the Islamic Groups of Da’ash have attacked the city of Mosul for the last two days. They have assassinated adults and children. The bodies have been left in the streets and in the houses by the hundreds, without pity. The regular forces and the army have also fled the city, along with the governor. In the mosques, they cry “Allah Akbar, long live the Islamic State.” Qaraqosh is overflowing with refugees of all kinds, without food or lodging. The check points and the Kurdish forces are blocking innumerable refugees from entering Kurdistan. What we are living and what we have seen over the last two days is horrible and catastrophic. The priory of Mar Behnam and other churches fell into the hands of the rebels this morning. . . .

Many wonder how much more people can endure, and for the Christian community, this latest explosion of religiously motivated control of a city exposes their heightened vulnerability.

Please pray for Iraq, for government, the church and the people, and for God’s people who are vulnerable and exposed in this situation.

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