Iraq (MNN) — Years after the defeat of ISIS in Iraq, many Iraqi Christians remain in limbo. ISIS forced them to leave their homes because of their faith.
Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says ISIS gave them the choice. ‘Become a Muslim, and you can be part of us. You can keep your house and you can stay here. They didn’t do that. They said, ‘No, I am a Christian.’”
They fled into several surrounding countries like Turkey or Lebanon. Nettleton recently met some of these Christians. “They don’t have any kind of status, and they don’t have legal protection. They’re not allowed to work. Their kids aren’t allowed to go to school. And now we are five years down the road, six years down the road. We talked to one guy who’s been waiting for eight years to get into another country like Canada or the US or Australia.”
During their wait, these refugees don’t have much to do. Nettleton spoke to one man about his daily routine. “He said, ‘Well, I wake up in the morning, and I eat breakfast. Then I go down to the park. A lot of the men go there, and we hang out together and we talk. And then I come home, and I eat lunch, and I usually take a nap.”
He repeats this same cycle day after day, unable to legally work or do anything else.
Nettleton says listeners can take action. First, we can pray. Ask God to comfort and strengthen these Christians. Many are traumatized. Their children have lost their childhoods, and education. Then, “We need to remind our government leaders. Our government has said. ‘Yes, we’ll take some of the refugees.’ Okay, then let’s take some! Let’s get them through the approval process.” Ask God to protect them from radical ideologies as well.
The header photo shows damage after the ISIS invasion of Mosul. (Photo courtesy of Omar Siddeeq Yousif, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)