While war and terrorism continues in places like Syria and Iraq, Christian families are standing strong in their faith.
WORLD Magazine editor Mindy Belz has traveled across the Middle East for the past decade as a journalist. She discusses the harsh realities for Christians living in Iraq today and how we can come alongside our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.
“What’s remarkable is that for everything that happened, and for how long the danger has faced the Christians in Iraq, that there are as many who have stayed and who feel very strongly about continuing a presence of Christians in the Middle East.”
Christians living in Iraq have learned how to fully depend on God and one another in the midst of persecution. Mindy elaborates,
“They really have such a wonderful trust in Christ as their Savior, and God as their hope their hope for the future and their hope for their children.
“They also have real deep dependence on one another and they don’t hesitate. Arab hospitality is a wonderful thing to behold, and the way that Iraqi Christians take care of one another is something that I’ve learned so much from.”
Mindy offers suggestions on how we can pray for Christian families who have chosen to stay in the Middle East.
We can pray boldly and we can pray with hope. We can come alongside our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq and pray for God’s protection, intervention and provision for families living in the midst of persecution.
We can pray for the people who are actively serving.
“We can pray as they pray and then we can also recognize that there are organizations that are there bringing needed food and services, education, medical services, etc. I know a number of medical teams that are in and out of Iraq all of the time, filling the gaps in these situations where medical care has been severed in some way.”
We can pray for opportunities to get involved.
“A number of these organizations represent opportunities for people to really pray about whether they should go and serve.
“This is an opportunity where God, in His sovereignty and wisdom, is bringing people together from the west and east; people who have grown up in many different traditions and under many different circumstances. This is now a time of learning from them and also helping them at the same time.”