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.
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.
2. Be informed.
Having a truthful and genuine understanding of the situation that our brothers and sisters are facing is one of the best ways to love and support them. By knowing what’s really going on, we can pray more specifically, give more thoughtfully and tell their stories with more integrity and passion. By following this blog, you can keep informed and updated.
We are currently calling for donations for the Middle East. IS (Islamic State) is operating across Iraq, Syria and beyond, and thousands of people are fleeing to neighbouring countries. We want to be equipped to deal with this tragedy as it affects the whole region, not just one country. You can give online – please specify “Middle East” in the comments section allowing us to use your gift where the need is greatest in the Middle East region. Please also consider giving to global persecution where most needed around the world.
4. Tell their story.
In Mosul, Christian homes were sprayed with the Arabic letter ن – the letter representing ‘N’, for Nazarene, or Christian. Social media has gotten behind this symbol with the international #WeAreN campaign, as a sign of solidarity for Christians in Iraq. We want to stand with them, and make sure people know about the suffering they are going through to raise support and prayer. We have also changed our profile picture on social media to ن to show solidarity with Christians in Iraq.
Open Doors has designed a shirt with the ن symbol on it as a starting point for conversations about Iraq. You can order one of our shirts now with this symbol on it. We pray that it will be a symbol of unity, a conversation starter, a way to turn you into a walking declaration of the gospel and those suffering for it. All profit goes towards Open Doors’ work in the Middle East.