First, 2,600 years of Middle Eastern Jewish civilization was destroyed. Now, 2,000 years of Christian history in Iraq and Syria is being erased, with very little hope of a future.
The biggest question on the mind of these Middle Eastern Christian communities is not the typical “Why is this happening?” It is “Why are the Christians in America not helping us?” They feel very alone and abandoned by the western Church.
Refugee tent for Jesus
A recent picture of a refugee camp in northern Iraq showed one tent with Arabic writing on the top of it. The translation reads: “Jesus is the Light of the world.”
Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad, has another picture of a refugee camp in northern Iraq where some of the members of his congregation are now camped. Knowing it is the Christmas season, his congregants have erected a refugee tent for Jesus.
Refugees are near to Jesus’ heart; He and His parents were refugees in Egypt when He was a baby. But, these refugees are especially dear to Him because they are suffering persecution for their faith in Him.
While Jesus is busy comforting and encouraging the refugees, where is the western Christian world? It seems to be fat and happy, in a very deep winter’s sleep.
What you can do
At the very least, families and churches should make donations towards food and blankets for the refugees. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) is collecting donations for reputable ministries working on the ground if you do not already know of one. The ICEJ also issued a letter to over 90 heads of state around the world urging them to speak up and to take action to help the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.
That letter should be circulated to all elected officials representing you in Washington, DC. It can be found on their website at us.icej.org/sites/default/files/feast/final_joint_letter_on_christian_persecution-logos.pdf. Few officials know what you now know. The ICEJ is happy to speak with anyone to brief them on the situation.
Put yourselves in the refugees’ place. You would also be praying for food, a blanket and a place to go. Be an answer to someone’s prayer today.