Hope for the Middle East

Last week, Christians on the Left were invited by Open Doors to a Parliamentary Reception to learn more about their ‘Hope for the Middle East’ campaign.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011 and the rise of ISIS in Iraq in 2014, Christians have been among the millions driven from their home by conflict... And yet, the persecution of Christians in the middle east is not new.

Father Daniel & CotLAs a result of the civil war and regional power struggles, Christians and other religious minorities are particularly vulnerable, experiencing religious persecution. Islamist extremists are determined to eradicate the church from the Middle East.

Hope for the Middle East estimates that 100,000 Christians have left Iraq and only 200,000-250,000 remain from a community that used to be 1.4-2 million in the 1990s. In Syria the community has decreased from 1.7-2.2 million to somewhere between 800,000 and 1.4 million.

Christians have left the region and sought permanent asylum elsewhere. Others have been displaced internally or to neighbouring countries as refugees.

At the event, I had the privilege of meeting Father Daniel who cares for displaced children in Iraq. He shared stories of how his people are being left homeless and subject to persecution. I asked specifically how Christians on the Left should pray. He requested that we pray for the children in his care that they would experience joy this Christmas time.

Even though he lives in a war torn country, Father “Danny” expressed hope of seeing peace in his community again. Open Doors believes that faith leaders are key in restoring peace to Syria and Iraq. Their desire is for governments to consult faith leaders as they are trusted members of the community and have a part to play in this reconciliation process.

Open Doors has asked us to pray and speak out on the behalf of believers in the Middle East. We can write to our MPs outlining our concerns and support for these ancient Christian communities.

For further information about this campaign and to sign the petition click here.

 


 

A Prayer for the Middle East

 

Dear Father God,

We thank you for the incredible work that Open Doors and other NGOs are doing in Iraq and Syria. Give them divine opportunities to speak out and express your love.

We lift up to Father Danny and the displaced children he cares for. May you fill them with joy and peace this Christmas time. May they have a fresh awareness of Immanuel - God with us.

We pray that you continue to protect, strengthen and give hope to the Christians in the Middle East.

Give our Parliamentarians wisdom and strategy in how they can use their power to influence the peace process. May those in power utilise the faith leaders on the ground to bring about reconciliation in their communities.

Amen.

 


 

Open Doors

Open Doors supports persecuted Christians with Bibles, Christian materials, training, livelihood skills, advocacy - and in a whole host of other ways - so that they know they are not forgotten and can stand strong to serve their communities. So that they can give life.

Open Doors also seek to mobilise the church in the UK & Ireland not only to serve Christians living under religious persecution but also to learn from them what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

 

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