August marks a dark anniversary. Six years ago, ISIS captured the Nineveh plains in Iraq, including the city of Mosul. They captured and killed Yazidi and Christian men and women with savage zealotry. Thousands lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands were displaced. Many still haven’t returned home.
The official position of most governments involved is that ISIS has since been defeated. However, Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs USA says it’s not that simple.
“There are still active members of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and in other parts of the world,” he says. “ISIS still has a radical Sunni theology wanting to bring about attacks wanting to bring about more violence.. absolutely, they are still a factor.”
One of many wounds left by ISIS’ terror campaign is the absence of Christians in the region. Even before ISIS slaughtered their way across the Nineveh Plains, many Christians left the region because “they did not see a future there,” Nettleton says. Any that remained were forced out by ISIS.
Any Christians who did live in Iraq don’t want to return.
The problem is, a Church presence could be exactly what the crippled Iraqi people need. In a conversation with an Iraqi pastor, Nettleton learned what local believers were asking for. The answer?
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for Iraqi families still affected by ISIS violence.
- Ask God to draw His Church back to Iraq.
- Thank Him for the courage of believers still living in the region.