‘We encourage people to pray for the safety of these families and for these kids’
Open Doors USA President and CEO Dr. David Curry says Christians are on the verge of extinction in Iraq but also that the intense persecution started long before the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
Open Doors USA is one of the leading international organizations assisting persecuted Christians around the world. It has a team actively involved inside Iraq, but Curry admits ISIS clearly has believers there running for their lives.
“I think they’ve largely succeeded in driving out Christians in many of these areas to the north of Baghdad,” he said.
While ISIS presents the most intense and most immediate threat to Christians in Iraq, Curry said Christians have been targeted ever since the Iraq War began in 2003.
“Christianity has been under attack for a long time in Iraq. This has been more than just what’s happened this summer. Over the last 10 years, you’ve gone from what amounts to about a million Christians in Iraq to maybe a few thousand by some of our estimates,” said Curry, who added that physical conditions for Iraqi Christians are very bleak.
“Our team is telling me on a daily basis that it’s just very uncertain for these folks,” he said. “Many of them moved two and three times even before the Islamic State. With that new (ISIS) push since this summer, there’s a feeling that maybe there isn’t a place for Christians in Iraq. So that’s very discouraging to them.”
Written by GREG COROMBOS
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