Visiting the refugee camps in Iraq…

Full camps, overburdened aid workers, but also, tentative celebrations, Christians who are opening up their houses and churches to refugees and people who are hesitating about returning to their homes. Just over two months since the first influx of refugees, Open Doors worker Sara* visited the Kurdish Iraqi town of Erbil.

It is difficult to get a complete picture of the situation in northern Iraq. Since the fighters of the extremist Islamic State (IS) advanced with much violence on Mosul, the relatively safe Kurdish region has been flooded with refugees. Sara visited some of the refugee camps where local Churches are providing aid with the support of Open Doors.

“My previous visit to Erbil was in April, before the unrest. At first sight, little seems to have changed in Erbil: the airport is still peaceful, my hotel is still there. But when you look better, you see the changes. Restaurants are closed, here and there camps have grown up, and suddenly you see the beggars, the streets are filthy, food and aid packages are being carted about.” Continue reading

Three prayers for the persecuted church…

Hearing stories from the persecuted church often leaves us feeling overwhelmed and powerless, and sometimes unsure of what to pray. Here are three simple prayers for the persecuted church.

Pray for the persecuted

‘If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.’ 1 Corinthians 12:26

As Christians, we are all part of one body. When one part suffers, the rest of the body suffers too. There are many ways that we can pray for our brothers and sisters:

  • That they may be strengthened with all power, according to God’s glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (Colossians 1:12)
  • Physical protection from attack, starvation and disease
  • Finding refuge, comfort and strength in the gospel
  • The ability to love and pray for their persecutors

Continue reading