Date:  December 7, 2022

A bordered fence now posted to prevent any future attacks by extremists on Our Lady of Salvation Church. The fence is decorated with Christian symbols, and the phrase “Risalatuna Alsalam” is inscribed on one of the posts, which translates to “Our Message is Peace.”

Iraq (International Christian Concern) – A UN investigative team sent out a report recently that provided more evidence of crimes against humanity from the Islamic State in Iraq. These crimes, according to the UN report, include “forcibly transferring and persecuting Christians, seizing their property, engaging in sexual violence, enslavement and other ‘inhumane acts,’ such as forced conversions and destruction of cultural and religious sites.”

The significance of this report is that they also identified prominent leaders of the Islamic State that were actively involved in the Iraqi takeover from 2014-2017 in the Nineveh Plains. Although they were defeated in 2017, there are still “sleeper cells [that] continue to stage attacks in different parts of Iraq.” Some of the evidence collected shows that the Islamic State also purposely targeted religious and cultural sites for destruction using heavy weaponry such as explosives. In the coming months the UN plans to switch their focus from investigating, to sharing the information with the Iraq government so they can make progress with prosecutions and accountability.

ICCs work in Iraq often deals with the victims from this time period. Those who were lucky enough to escape in time, faced displacement for many years and lost all their belongings and income. Those who are returning to the Nineveh Plains and Mosul are facing the destruction of their homes, businesses, and properties. ICC assists in rebuilding their business and homes through our projects, resulting in these individuals regaining some normalcy and independence again.

HOW TO PRAY: Pray for healing for those who suffered at the hands of ISIS. Pray for protection for those still vulnerable. Pray for leaders and members of ISIS to come to know Jesus.