Iraq (MNN) — "I'm a afraid it's actually getting worse." That's the word from President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller in response to the persecution affecting Christians in Iraq. Last week we reported that the violence continues to escalate, forcing more Christians to leave Iraq.
Moeller says, "The Christian community continues to be terrorized by extremists and basically are being forced out of homes at gunpoint, children and elderly people being murdered. This is a real crisis. Not just a Christian crisis, but a real humanitarian crisis for the country of Iraq."
While coalition forces are in the region, they're powerless to do anything. "This is often seen–because it's Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence–as an internal matter, and yet it's really an international crisis where the Christian community is in danger of being extinguished completely in Mosul."
While the government has made statements of horror concerning what's happening there, nothing is being done. Moeller says, "The city itself is being religiously cleansed of Christians. In fact, that's the intended aim of the terrorists, and the government is very reluctant to take on such a massive force that's being applied to the Christian community there."
Moeller believes al Qaeda is one of the lead groups responsible for the attacks.
While Open Doors isn't a political organization, he's encouraging people to take political action. "This is not a political situation; this is a humanitarian crisis. And if anyone can go to our Web site, they can get the latest information so that they can send an email or their voice to the Iraqi government to intervene on behalf of Iraqi Christians."
But the most important thing Christians can do is pray. Moeller says Open Doors and other organizations are helping the victims with relief and other physical aid.
With the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church approaching Sunday, November 9, Christians need to be on their knees. "If the church in Iraq can't turn to us for prayer and material support, and for being a voice when it has no voice, then who can it turn to? The church in Iraq is like what Brother Andrew encountered in communist countries in the 1950's," says Moeller.