You’ve probably heard the story behind the symbol used to mark Christians by IS (self procalimed Islamic State).
What you probably don’t know is the story behind the city on this shirt.
It’s called Alqosh.
It’s a Christian majority town in Northern Iraq.
It is also now the only Christian town in the Nineveh Plain not taken by IS.
Most cities like Mosul are now virtually empty of Christians, with no churches holding Christian services for the first time in almost 2 millennium.
Churches have been claimed by IS as prisons and distribution centres, with crosses being torn down and replaced with the IS flag.
Alqosh has Christians who have remained, despite IS coming very close to the town. These are places where the history and stories of the Bible were formed, and have had a Christian presence since the early church for over 1500 years. And they are now on the brink of destruction.
75% of the church in Iraq have left since the 1990s.
Over 75% of the church have left Iraq since the early 1990’s.
Could you imagine if three quarters of the church disappeared from Australia and the spiritual impact that would have on this country?
Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if this happened in Australia, if my family were threatened and forced out of their homes for their faith.
Then I remember, they are my family in Christ.
We will pray as one body and one family.
We will strengthen what remains and not let the church fade away.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18
This blog post was written by James, who leads Open Doors Australia’s Youth’s Ministry.
Open Doors Youth is a movement responding the the cry of the persecuted church. A voice that tells their story, unashamedly standing up for those who suffer persecution.
Want to get involved? For more information on how to do this please visit www.opendoorsyouth.org.au or find us on Facebook.
This shirt is still available to purchase (limited sizes).