Iraqi Christians hopeful following U.S. airstrikes

By August 27, 2014
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. William Begley/Released)

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. William Begley/Released)

Iraq (MNN) — Some Iraqi Christians are hopeful following multiple U.S. airstrikes near the Mosul Dam. Previously an Islamic State (IS) stronghold, U.S. bombardments keep loosening the terrorists’ grip.

“Around the dam area, there’s a lot more freedom. The families actually are filled with hope in that they might be able to return,” says Dyann Romeijn with Vision Beyond Borders (VBB).

“A lot of the homes have been destroyed; a lot of bombs and things like that [have fallen], so the areas still aren’t safe for them to return home. But at least they have hope that, eventually, they will be able to return home.”

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, 96 airstrikes have been performed across Iraq since August 8. Of those attacks, 62 have been in areas near the Mosul Dam.

Next Steps

Right now, the U.S. is searching for help from Iraq’s neighbors in the fight against ISIS. Speaking to reporters from a U.S. military aircraft on Sunday, U.S. General Martin Dempsey said defeating IS would take more than military strength. He mentioned a long-term strategy which would involve “reaching out” to Iraqi neighbors Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

Iraqi Christians

Christian homes in Mosul were marked with the Arabic letter “N” for Nazarite and “Property of the Islamic State.”
(Image, caption courtesy Vision Beyond Borders)

Meanwhile, VBB is gathering help for Iraqi believers.

“We’re just trying to help meet basic needs [right now],” Romeijn explains. “[We’re] sending money to help the churches purchase food to help feed these people. Also, we’re working to send a container.”

A recent update from ministry contacts in Iraq spurred VBB to take immediate action.

“The situation is horrible for our Christian brothers. It is indescribable. Maybe this is the worst thing since the massacre of 1915!” writes VBB’s ministry contact. “The churches don’t have anything left, they can’t help anymore…. It is really time to help. Thank you for your prayers!”

Click here to send funds to VBB, or call them at 406-587-2321 if you need more details.

Romeijn says believers can “just get in touch with us and they can let us know how they would like to help and be involved.”

Most importantly, pray for the people caught up in this crisis.

“Pray for healing. So many people who’ve escaped have still witnessed terrible brutalities and atrocities, and they just need that healing power of Jesus.”

More Iraq updates here.

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