ICC Note: The dangers for Iraq’s Christian are prompting many of them to seek ways to leave the country. The threat that they face directly from ISIS, along with the sustained violence of the past decade leaves many Christians unsure that they can stay in Iraq. While many leaders are urging people to consider staying, the realities that confront them on a daily basis make it a nearly impossible choice to make.
ICC has launched a campaign to provide aid to the Iraqi church to assist those in need who have fled from the attacks. Go here to find out more and donate: Iraqi Crisis Response
By Gary Lane
08/25/2014 Iraq (CBN) – While the Obama administration tries to figure out if targeting terrorists is worthwhile, thousands of refugees are suffering across northern Iraq.
Talk to anyone who has fled the Islamic State and they’ll share their story of tragedy and suffering.
One Christian CBN News spoke to said the terrorists seized all his gold and money, then threatened to cut off his hand.
This boy was traumatized when he witnessed Islamic State fighters armed with machine guns open fire on fleeing Christians near Mosul.
Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians now live in tents, schools, and abandoned buildings. War weary and despondent, most now say they want to leave Iraq.
“Go to America, Christians go to America. No, stay in Iraq!” one refugee woman said of the enormous decision to leave the land of their ancestors.
When Islamic State fighters seized his city, this former police officer took his family, including his newborn daughter, to safety in Erbil.
“If we return to our village, they will kill us,” he said.
With passports in hand, these Iraqi Christians hope Congress will soon grant them immediate religious asylum status so they can live in the United States.
Ten families from this church, Ankawa Evangelical, have already left Iraq since the crisis began last June. That troubled Pastor Ghassan Yalda, who urged them to stay.
“This is hurting a lot because the faith that we have is that the Christians are the salt of this land and the light of this land,” he said.
“If everybody leaves this country, who is going to be speaking the truth to the people who need it and who is going to be keeping this area from the wrath of the Lord because the sin is everywhere and people are killing each other?” he asked.