The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (also know as ISIS, or ISIL, with the L standing for Levant) is terrorizing Christians all over Iraq, forcing them to convert, flee from their homes, pay an enormous jihad tax or, die. Children are being beheaded, families are torn apart, and lives have been destroyed.
“I can’t do anything,” is a lie.
You may be far away. You may be detached from the situation. You may not have political clout or millions of dollars to give. But you can do something. We must do something.
I have often wondered why the world’s citizens didn’t put a stop to the Nazis, why they stood idly while million after million were enslaved and murdered. And the explanation usually begins with, “I can’t.” Perhaps it seemed too dangerous or too risky or too costly to put yourself between the persecutor and the persecuted.
It is not enough to say or feel we love those whose lives are being torn apart. Scripture tells us we can’t love with just words—they must be accompanied by an action. Yeshua said the greatest action of love was laying your life down for someone else (Yochanan 15:13). He is honored when we give up even part of our lives for someone else. Love is not something that 'just happens' it must be done intentionally, on purpose. Although you can’t do everything to fix what is happening in the Middle East you can and should do something.
What can we do?
Pray. Spending the next 10 seconds in prayer is a good start but we can do better. Place reminders strategically so that you can pray without ceasing. Print off a photo or download a Pray for Iraq design and place it on your fridge, the bathroom mirror, in your office, or any other place you will see it often. You could also arrange a prayer meeting—whether in person or ask your friends to all pray at say, 12:00pm, wherever they are.
Take a good look at this map of Iraq and try to familiarize yourself with it. Learn city names as a reminder that this is happening in real, concrete places to real people.
Contact your congressman and senators. Sharing articles on social media to spread awareness is fantastic—but only if we do something with that knowledge. Ask our leaders to intervene on behalf of Iraqi Christians and minorities.
Watch your oil consumption. ISIS has control over 40,000 barrels of oil every day. This is a relatively small amount worldwide but nonetheless, a significant contribution to ISIS’s cash flow. The idea that money we spend on gasoline is funding terrorism makes me sick to my stomach. Limit the oil you use where possible, and stick to gas stations, such as Sunoco, that source oil domestically.
Make a financial donation to a ministry in Iraq. Samaritan’s Purse, and Preemptive Love are two organizations that I know of doing work in Iraq. Samaritan’s Purse is providing food and shelter in the city of Erbil, Iraq for those displaced. Preemptive Love focuses on medical care, training doctors and nurses and treating children with heart defects all over the country. Founder, Jeremy Courtney said on CNN he and his wife are taking people into their home. If you have a dollar to donate, you can make a difference in Iraq.
Please share if you know of any organizations working in Iraq!