woman holding child

— UNICEF, Wathiq Khuzaie

More than 1.5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Iraq after fleeing the violence and religious persecution that the Islamic State (IS) has inflicted upon large portions of northern and western Iraq. The country is now contending with one of the largest internal displacements in the world.

Many of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are persecuted religious minorities, including Yazidis and Christians who are trapped in Sinjar, the Ninewa Plains, or Iraqi Kurdistan near the Syrian border, with little access to food or water.

Also known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), the militant group continues its encroachment in the region, and the number of IDPs is expected to increase.

In a letter from our mission partner The National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, we hear, “We cry to all Christian churches around the world to move, raise their voices to the world powers to stop such inhuman acts against humanity . . . We call upon the world to motivate every possibility to prevent annihilation of the Christians and other minorities at the hand of criminal groups such as Daesh in this part of the world . . . we cry to God to give peace and bring this tragic situation to an end.  In God we trust and to God we cry.”

Response

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has already sent One Great Hour of Sharing funds to our mission partner the National Evangelical Church of Iraq, who is providing families who have fled from Mosel with food, water, clothing, fuel, hygiene items, and bedding.

PDA is also responding as a member of the ACT Alliance in providing humanitarian aid and carrying out protection initiatives, particularly for women and children.

ACT is also calling for human rights and international humanitarian law to be respected, and is urging governments and intergovernmental bodies to find a lasting solution to the crisis and to identify proactive actions to respond to early signs of conflicts.

Stand in the GAP and help the thousands of families forced from their home because of their faith to receive food and other essential items.

How you can help

Stand in the GAP for those in need and help the church respond to this crisis.

Give. Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000082-Iraq. Individuals may give through your local Presbyterian congregation, online, or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. 

Act. 

Pray.

God of mercy, God of peace, how long?  How long, O Lord?
For your people in Iraq, the knock at the door in the dark of night may be a stranger in need,
     or the onset of violence…grant courage and wisdom.
Your children seek to be Christ’s generous presence to those in desperate need,
     to practice welcome in the midst of terror.
They flee before the threat of violence and death: shelter them with your grace.
In the midst of such complex chaos, help us not to turn away,
     but to keep our hearts and eyes open
     to be generous in prayer and in practice
To aid our neighbors as they work, even in the midst of fearfulness
     to give with generosity, receive with love, and trust in the
     refuge of your sheltering wings. 
May your Spirit of courage, of mercy and of peace be upon them, and us all, in Christ’s name.  Amen.

 

Related Resources

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