Northern Iraq has been besieged by violent conflict as a result of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS) that has been forcing people to either convert to its extreme brand of Sunni Islam or die. Faced with this difficult choice, many have fled their ancestral homes to Kurdistan, where they are now living as refugees. Tragically, many have also been killed for their religious beliefs.
Northern Iraq has been besieged by violent conflict as a result of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS) that has been forcing people to either convert to its extreme brand of Sunni Islam or die.
World Renew has been responding to the needs of these displaced families by working through a local Christian partner, Life Agape, in the Kurdish regional capital city of Erbil to provide rent assistance and other emergency supplies.
With the conflict showing no sign of ending soon, and with temperatures expected to soon drop below freezing, the extremely difficult conditions faced by Iraqi refugees are about to become even more unbearable. Blankets, heaters and winter clothes are urgently needed.
World Renew Senior Program Manager Ken Little recently visited northern Iraq to work closely with World Renew’s partner, Life Agape. “Visiting IDP families in Erbil, Iraq, was a heart wrenching experience. These are ordinary working families who were forced to flee for their lives, with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” he said.
While many refugee families are still living in makeshift tents, World Renew’s partner has also rented several apartments to help especially vulnerable families to be protected from the elements. Trained medical staff of Life Agape Iraq have determined which of the families are most vulnerable and in need of safe and secure shelter.
Sinan is one such individual whose family has been helped by World Renew and Life Agape. His family left their city of Mosul as soon as ISIS entered the city.
“We left at 1:00 am and walked 35 kilometers. We were able to contact Muslim neighbours back home by cell phone, and found out that ISIS looted our house and took everything. We would like to go back once the city is secure. We thank World Renew for its support in helping us rent this apartment.”
“We are grateful to have an active local Christian partner that is responding to the desperate needs of Iraqi minorities that have been persecuted because of their faith” explains World Renew’s Director of Disaster Response, Wayne de Jong. “These displaced families are in urgent need of temporary shelter and items to protect them from the quickly approaching winter. Please partner with World Renew in caring for our brothers and sisters who have been subjected to unspeakable violence and have been forced to flee their homes.”
Please continue to pray for an end to the escalating cycle of extreme violence against Christians and others that is occurring in Iraq.
Cheques marked “Iraq Conflict 2014” can also be sent to:
World Renew US
1700 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
World Renew Canada
P.O. Box 5070 STN LCD
Burlington, Ontario, L7R 3Y8