Iraq (MNN) — According to Reuters, ISIS has formed a new religious police squad in Nineveh, and Iraq’s Shi’ite leader says their country needs international help to fight what he calls “black terrorism.”
Citing a militant Islamic Web site, Reuters reports Nineveh’s Islamic State police force was created to “implement the orders of the religious judiciary.” However, other sources within the province told Reuters these new authorities were mainly focused on capturing “people they consider opposed to their cause.”
The horrific acts of ISIS, from beheadings captured on video to a rape campaign in Iraq, are meant to invoke widespread terror and dread. While seemingly too intense for a modern era, ISIS terror tactics are nothing new: ancient Assyrians, known for their cruelty, used fear to expand their territory.
Steve VanValkenburg of Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, says the viciousness of ISIS underscores why national Gospel workers are so effective.
“When you have people who are from that area, they know best how to handle themselves, even though outwardly, you would think there’s no way they can have a ministry,” states VanValkenburg.
Christian Aid supports pastors who have stayed in Mosul to minister to Muslims, and church planters who are caring for refugees in Kurdistan. The church planters report a great spiritual harvest among Iraqi refugees. Find more details in the full report.
“As they [church planters] go around and provide food and supplies, they also provide the Gospel and New Testaments. People are becoming Christians, and so the logical place to meet would be whatever tent [they] are living in,” VanValkenburg says.
“As people congregate in tents and they begin to sing, it attracts other people that want to come and hear what’s happening.”
With financial support, Iraqi missionaries can care for refugees’ physical and spiritual needs. Along with practical supplies like food, shelter, mattresses, and medicine, missionaries are also handing out complete Bibles, New Testaments, tracts, and Bible-based coloring books for children.
“They’ve got some good, strong, healthy churches, so they’ve got plenty of manpower and plenty of ability to reach out,” VanValkenburg shares. “They just need resources.”
As always, prayer is the biggest need–even more so at a time like this. Pray for unity among world leaders as they try to overcome ISIS. Pray for an end to Islamic State terrorism. Pray for God’s grace to be upon aid workers and indigenous missionaries as they reach out in Christ’s name.