Yazidi Survivors Commemorate One Year Since ISIL Massacre

A year ago, on 3rd August 2014, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women.

The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists.

About two hours north of the northern Kurdish city of Irbil, amid dusty, rocky hills is Lalish, the site of a famous Yazidi shrine, where many of the survivors have congregated to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre.

Yazidis are seen gathered outside the Lalish temple, enjoying shade, water and ice cream. Lalish, Iraq, July 31, 2015. (Photo – S. Behn/VOA)

Murad Aloo is one of those who survived. Wearing black, he walks around the temple grounds, but finds little peace here, with the images of what happened 12 months ago seared into his mind.

On that day, he said, the shooting started at around 10 in the morning. When the Yazidis realized they were going to be slaughtered by the oncoming Islamic State militants, they fled by the thousands to Sinjar mountain.

Remembering the days that followed, stranded on Sinjar mountain, waiting for the airlift and a way out, Aloo starts crying.

“We had one capful of water for two children. There was no food, no water. Many died of thirst and hunger when we were stranded on the mountains …”

He continued: “I wish I were among the dead, instead of witnessing what I have seen. I don’t think there is a future for me, I am just so heartbroken, I don’t think there is a future for me.”

The Yazidis are a minority community in Iraq, a religious group that has under a million members in the world.

  • Pray for the Yazidi people. especially those who have witnessed the atrocities of ISIL against their families and communities. Pray for healing, and for hope to be restored to these traumatised people.
  • Pray for Yazidis to hear the Gospel and respond to the truth and life offered through Jesus.
  • Pray for Christians working in refugee camps and amongst Yazidi communities,  that the love of God will flow through them, and many will come to know Jesus and the Father who loves them.
  • Pray for peace in Iraq and Syria.

Isaiah 45 vs 22: “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.”

Source: http://www.voanews.com, http://www.persecution.org




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