On June 10 the extremist group ISIS entered Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. Mosul and the surrounding Nineveh Province has been home to the largest concentration of Christians in Iraq, some of the churches and monasteries there even dating back to the fourth century. In the following weeks the homes and businesses of Christians were marked with the Arabic letter “n” for “Nazarene. Then on July 19 ISIS made the devastating pronouncement that Christians must convert to Islam, pay a heavy tax (which for almost everyone would be impossible), or be killed.
Thousands of Christians have had to abandon everything—businesses, homes, and possessions—and flee to the cities of Irbil and Kirkuk in Kurdistan. Irbil was soon overrun with refugees, and many have headed south to Kirkuk. The Kirkuk Presbyterian Church has received at least 12 families, who are living on the property. They are also helping an additional 50 families who are staying with other churches in the area with food, bedding, blankets and some pocket money. The situation is very desperate. More refugees are coming down to Kirkuk from Irbil every day. Anything we can do to help the churches in the area meet the growing needs would be a great blessing. Your financial contribution will help ensure that some of these refugees will have food to eat and basic medical supplies and other necessities during these difficult days.