Your Prayer Messages Bring Hope to Chibok Parents

It is now more than 130 days since hundreds of schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in the middle of the night, from the village of Chibok on 14 April.

Open Doors has kept in constant contact with the community, and recently visited 140 of the parents to deliver a new batch of letters of encouragement and prayer from our supporters around the world – including some from Australia. 

Mothers holding prayer messages in Chibok, Nigeria.

Mothers of missing girls hold prayer messages form Open Doors supporters in Chibok, Nigeria.

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In Pictures: Refugees and Relief in Iraq

Churches are running out of space for Iraqi’s fleeing from Islamic State

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, including more than 100,000 Christians, have been displaced by IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS) since early June, when the insurgents invaded Mosul. Many have fled from major cities like Mosul and Qaraqosh, known as the Christian capital of Iraq, and villages on the Nineveh plain, to places such as Erbil in the north of the country.

With such a high influx of internally displaced people in Erbil, houses of relatives are full with families and churches are running out of space to host more people.

One of the churches Open Doors is involved with is helping over 360 families staying in Erbil, of which 216 families live in the courtyard of the church. Every day the church gives out breakfast, lunch and dinner to over a thousand people. Continue reading

Nigeria: 300 children flee, as Boko Haram invade their town

Nigeria is number 10 on the 2015 Open Doors World Watch List, a list ranking the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith.

“We are in deep pain over the incessant loss of life. Every day Christian villages are attacked, people are killed and houses belonging to Christians are destroyed. Almost all the Christian villages around Madagali have been deserted. The houses and churches in those villages have all been destroyed,” explains Pastor Peter*, from Gulak in Adamawa State, north eastern Nigeria, where the government has been battling Boko Haram insurgents under a state of emergency since May 2013. Continue reading

Timeline of Iraq since ISIS takeover

Timeline

Since the takeover of Mosul, June 2014

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced by IS insurgents since early June. The BBC estimates that around one quarter of Iraq’s Christians are currently on the move. Many have just the clothes on their backs – no food or water, no bedding and no means of keeping cool in a region where the temperature in the area is currently more than 40 degrees celsius every day, with no chance of rain. Others are living in the open, or wherever they can find shelter. Open Doors continues providing humanitarian aid to refugees, practical support to local churches and prayer.

Sahar Mansour, a Chaldean Catholic who fled Mosul in June, told the Catholic News Service that she had heard horrific accounts of violent forced conversions of Christians who were unable to flee Mosul because of ill health or disability. Continue reading

Four Ways You Can Help Christians in Iraq

This week has been absolutely heartbreaking. It’s hard to know where to start responding to everything in the Middle East at the moment, particularly in Iraq.

Here are four ways you can support those suffering in Iraq and the Middle East.

1. Pray. 

Our first (and most important) response to persecution should be to pray. The Bible is full of the prayers of faithful people crying out to God. David encouraged the Israelites to pour out their hearts to Him (Psalm 62:8) because He is our refuge. God’s word is full of verses that can help us pray through these kind of circumstances.

Update: 1 September 2014
We held a Day of Prayer for Iraq on 23 August, with over 60 public meetings held around Australia – and even more around the world! We made prayer resources for the day, and encourage you to use them to pray for Iraq. Continue reading