ISIS drives displaced refugees to Christ

By February 9, 2015
(Photo courtesy Christian Aid Mission)

(Photo courtesy Christian Aid Mission)

Middle East (CAM/MNN) — An ethnoreligious community in Iraq was once inaccessible to native Iraqi missionaries, as members lived reclusively in distant mountains near the border with Turkey. Since Islamic State (ISIS) atrocities drove them from their mountain strongholds last year, however, Yazidis now account for most of the people who have turned to Christ through a local ministry.

They had beliefs and rituals rooted in Zoroastrianism, mixed with elements of Christianity and Islam. And then came ISIS.

Last August, around 500 Yazidis were massacred by ISIS. Hundreds more were forced from their homes and into refugee camps.

Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, reported local church ministries have been reaching out to the refugees, giving support, Bibles, and sharing the Gospel.

While ISIS terror tactics have contributed to many Muslims in Iraq and Syria coming to Christ, in the past six months about 70% of those displaced to the northern Iraqi cities of Erbil and Dohuk who have embraced Christ through one ministry’s outreach are Yazidis, a native Iraqi ministry director said.

About 80 families have put their trust in Christ over the past six months, and each of these families had 7-10 people in them.

Those who have come to know Christ get connected with tent churches, while some who live close enough to an established church might walk to its building for worship.

Displaced Muslims, in the meantime, have continued to be open to the message of Christ–including, in one case, an apparent ISIS sympathizer or associate. A team from the ministry assisted by Christian Aid Mission was distributing aid and strayed into an ISIS area. They realized their error when a man began asking them what they were doing there.

“He was very extremist, you could see by his beard,” the director said. “We said we were giving some help to these people. He said, ‘Yes, but I see your car has Bibles in it and Christian materials.’ We said, ‘Yeah, we work with a church and we give these away. But we will leave now if you want.’ He said, ‘Why do you give all these people Bibles, and you don’t give one to me?’ We were surprised that this guy was extremist and he asked us for the Bible. We gave him a Bible, and we started to tell him stories about the Lord, and then immediately we left the area.”

Muslims in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region who have refused to swear loyalty to ISIS, or were suspected as moderates or informants of the Iraqi Security Forces, have suffered atrocities and have seen the religious basis for the injustice.

Continue praying for refugees’ safety and for them to believe in the Word of God. Click here to help support outreach programs like this one.


  • Rowena Lee says:

    Ths for all your service in Christ and u all glorified Trinity God indeed. ths.

  • Thankful to read this report of what the Lord is touching these people with his word , a new faith and hope to bring those into his family .

  • Lucy says:

    Praise Good. Been praying as I have Yezidi friends here. Also praying that the ISIS man that took the bible will be transformed by Christ and it have a domino effect among many ISIS
    Thank you so very much!

  • Justin says:

    Praise the Lord! To hear of how the Lord is using even this terrorist organization to drive out the Yazidis from their hard to reach homes so that many of them might hear the gospel of Christ and believe – that is good news indeed!

  • Tyler says:

    Hooray! Hundreds of people are exchanging their ridiculous iron-age myths for my completely more reasonable one! 😀

  • DaviDream says:

    Wow .. inspiring..Thanks the Lord Jesus!!!….
    Psalm 76:10
    Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

  • Chris says:

    God is still working in Mysterious Ways. Hallelujah!

  • God is indeed in control. We should always remember He is Sovereign.

  • Rose says:

    The Bible declares that Christ will not return until every tongue, language, nation will hear His message so those who reject Him will have no excuse at the day of Judgement. This is the beginning of the end.

  • Ekhlas says:

    مجدا لك أيها الاله الحقيقي الحيّ أميم (translation: Glory to you, O the true living God Amim)

  • Dodie says:

    eph 3 8-9 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,

  • T.J. says:

    I see the Zoroastrian symbol behind the guitarist… please tell me, do they continue to hold onto their Zoroastrian beliefs while professing Christ? Is there any contradiction there? I sincerely want to know…

  • Marla says:

    The harvest is plenty and the workers are few, I am praying for all of you from my home here. I seek to live an outreach life and love your stories. Be brave the Lord goes before you, understand your identity in Christ. I will keep you all lifted in my prayers.

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