Mosul, One Year On

This week marks the one year anniversary of the fall of Mosul, Iraq to militants from ISIL. Overnight, on 10th June 2014, more than 500,000 people fled the city and, in the year following this, continued conflict throughout Iraq has pushed the total number of displaced Iraqi’s to over 3 million.

Iraq’s Christian and other religious minorities have been explicitly targeted by ISIL, as they have set about to establish a restored caliphate in the new “Islamic State.”

An ancient Nineveh gate, east of Mosul.

An estimated 100,000-150,000 Christians have been driven out of their homes in Mosul and the surrounding Nineveh Plain, areas that have been home to Christians for nearly 2,000 years. All 45 of Mosul’s churches and Christian institutions have been taken or destroyed by ISIL, according to  AINA.

In the days following the assault on Mosul, ISIL issued an ultimatum that all Christians must leave the city or else convert to Islam, pay a jizya, or else they would be killed.

Many fled from Mosul to Christian villages in the surrounding areas, but by early August, ISIL also took Qaraqosh, known as Iraq’s Christian capital, and home to some 50,000 Christians. The entire area has since been emptied of its Christians, for the first time in approximately 1,800 years.

Todd Daniels, International Christian Concern’s regional manager for the Middle East, said, “The situation for Iraq’s Christian community is dire. ISIS has set their targets squarely on the heartland of Christianity and is intent on erasing it completely in its attempt to establish an “Islamic State.” While the world’s leaders debate over strategy, hundreds of thousands remain in desperate need for just their next meal or protection from the brutal summer heat. The church around the world must raise their voices and move to act on behalf of the Christians of Iraq or else we are likely to see the final days of Christianity in lands that have been home to Christians for nearly 2,000 years.”

  • Pray for Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries around the region, where the presence of ISIL is both destabilising countries and threatening the existence of Christianity.
  • Pray for the millions of displaced people, many of them Christians, who are living in desperate conditions and with little hope of returning to their homeland. Pray for those working in refugee camps to shine the light, hope, love and healing power of Jesus.
  • Pray for Christians in the region to not lose hope, but to know the assurance that their Father God loves them.
  • Give thanks that, through this, many are coming to know Christ. And that our God has promised that even the greatest darkness will never put out His light in this world.

John 1 vs 5: “ The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.


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