ISIS loses influence in Mosul, but Christians not ready to return

By June 13, 2024
islamic state

Iraq (MNN) — Experts say the Islamic State lacks social support in areas it once controlled, like Mosul, Iraq. Citizens even report ISIS claims to Iraqi security forces.

Samuel* with Redemptive Stories says, “People you speak to on an everyday basis are far more opposed to that form of Islam because of what they saw and experienced during the time of ISIS.”

Iraq’s second-largest city fell to Islamic State control on June 10, 2014, as government forces retreated. Then, terrorists gave Mosul’s 1,200 Christian families a choice: renounce Christ and convert to Islam, pay a tax, or die.

“That (warning) doesn’t mean that all Christians could make it out. But many were able to make it into Iraqi Kurdistan,” Samuel says.

Huddled in refugee camps, believers followed devastating reports of their city under ISIS control. In 2017, Iranian-backed militia helped Iraq’s government wrestle Mosul back from ISIS control, but the ensuing battle left the city in pieces.

“International governments, as well as the UN, have done a wonderful job of trying to rebuild Mosul,” Samuel says.

“There is a sense of hope not just in terms of Christianity returning but also in the economic flourishing that’s taking place.”

Mosul remains primarily devoid of its once-thriving Christian community. “However, within the past few years, there has been some movement back, particularly into the villages on the outskirts of Mosul,” Samuel says.

“Christians are returning, mostly due to work and work opportunities.”

So far, only about 50 families have resettled in Mosul. Pray for more Iraqi Christians to return to share the Gospel with Muslim neighbors.

Pray specifically for “More encouragement, more boldness, so that God might do something big because people are asking questions,” Samuel says.

“They’ve seen the failures of Islam through ISIS, and they are beginning to ask more of those existential questions.”

Pray also for the provision of critical services like education. “There aren’t as many schools [available], so be praying that God would raise up opportunities for (local) churches to engage with education ministries so that more Christians may be able to return,” Samuel requests.





Header image depicts an ISIS militant with the ISIS flag. (Wikipedia)

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