The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is still advancing.
Since their offensive attacks began four months ago, ISIS has given followers of Christianity who live in the towns they take a choice: convert to Islam, pay a tax to remain in these communities as Christians, leave, or ultimately die.
For the Muslim-Background Believers, regardless of their choice, militants have ruthlessly attacked or killed them anyway.
Hundreds of thousands of Christians fleeing before the ISIS onslaught are at risk of freezing or starving to death. They can’t go home. They can’t move anywhere else because of the presence of ISIS. It begs the question: Is there a future for Christians in Iraq?
Christian communities that survived for almost 2,000 years in the country are on the brink of extinction as they are forced to leave their homes. The fate of Christians in Syria mirrors what happened in Iraq in the last decade.
Many are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Depression is rampant in the refugee settlements. Erbil and Dohuk are filled with haunted faces. Government aid isn’t reaching many. Smaller Non-Government Organizations are trying to reach those who’ve fallen through the cracks, but it seems like there are more fissures than solid ground for these survivors.
Money to help isn’t pouring in…and cutbacks are starting to take effect. So who will speak for their desperate situation? How about the two faith groups most targeted by ISIS in the Middle East?
Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, says, “This is the first time that Jewish leaders, the leader of the World Jewish Congress, as well as evangelical Christian leaders, the president of Oral Roberts University, came together to speak about Christian persecution.” Prominent leaders of both groups representing global organizations signed a historic joint initiative this month calling on world leaders to take action against ISIS, and to do more to protect the vulnerable populace. “The two groups SHOULD be working together. They SHOULD be speaking out together because they both are at risk as radical Islam gains influence and gains power.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News