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Op-Ed

Remember Iraq

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By EMN Updated: Aug 15, 2014 10:01 pm
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MULLINGS

Easterine Kire

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]an you imagine for a moment that you had become completely houseless, and are trapped in a treeless mountain of rocks and dark caves, struggling to stay alive. There is no shelter from the elements, be it rain or sun, especially when the heat goes up to 45 degrees or more. Children are dying from hunger and thirst, and families try to stick together in a terrain that is no less hospitable than the hometowns they have left where Islamic extremists are systemically killing their people.
This is not a scene from a movie. It is very real and it is happening in the 21st century. The Yazidi of Iraq, a religious group which is also a minority in Iraq, have known persecution throughout history. Under both Sadam Hussein and Sunni Muslims, the Yazidi were persecuted, and now they are being slaughtered for their non-Islamic beliefs. Numbers that are coming out of Iraq from independent sources quote that at least 500 of the Yazidi have been killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), (or the ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as they are popularly known)and that 300 Yazidi women have been captured and taken away by the same group. At the writing of this article, there were one thousand Yazidi still trapped in the mountains.The Yazidi are a small religious group who have religious connections with Zoroastrianism and monotheistic religions. The US air strikes brought some relief in that the ISIS forces were forced to retreat, and the Kurdish forces have been able to take back some of the towns that were taken over by ISIS. The Yazidi survivors have been helped by the US air drops of aid packages. But the fate of the Yazidi is in the same dismal situation as that of the Christians of Iraq. When the largely Christian town of Quaraqosh fell, the ISIS issued ultimatums that those who refused to give up their faith and convert to Islam would be fined or crucified. The reports say that even though some Christians paid fines, they were still killed. Crucifixions and beheadings of Christians, both adults and children, and killings of the Yazidi are the atrocities being committed by the ISIS. Killings were done with barbaric methods, and filmed to deter those who survived from holding on to their faith. On the internet is the heartbreaking picture of a father who is holding up the headless body of his young daughter.
The exodus of the minority groups is in terms of thousands and thousands of displaced persons for whom going back to their former homes is still not an option. The ISIS is a brutal, inhuman force made up of bloodthirsty extremists. In Christian terms, they can be described as demon possessed, craving human blood and extermination of all other faiths. Fleeing Christian refugees have received help in cities with a majority population of Shite Muslims.
How can we help? The International Christian Concern is a Christian body that works to help persecuted Christians around the globe. Naga churches can collect money and send it to ICC toward aiding both persecuted Christians of Iraq and the Yazidi people. Displaced peoples of any religion should be our concern, not just Christian brothers and sisters. That would be a true sign of Christianity. The NBCC, (since it represents the apex body of Christians in Nagaland) should be able to get in touch with ICC and deliver the donations from the churches. There are ways and ways to help. The persecuted Iraqis have lost all their worldly belongings. They have no clothes, not more than what is on their backs. It would be very practical to send them clothing and shoes if this could be organized properly. Since we cannot send food packages, we should at least help with any sum of money. And most of all, pray. Pray Psalms 91 and the protection of angels over these poor souls who are suffering for their right to practice their faiths.

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By EMN Updated: Aug 15, 2014 10:01:47 pm