4 November 2014
We give praise and thanks to our Lord Almighty for the generous gifts the Malaysian church has given towards the recent fund-raising NECF had through our members. Total amount dispatched to meet the needs in Iraq via Barnabas Fund Int'l in Sept this year was RM387,737. Please visit Barnabas Fund website for updated report on the aid extended to our Iraqian Christians via Barnabas Fund workers.
The Christians in many parts of the Middle East are living in fear of violent attack by the militant Islamist group ISIS and are in need of basis essentials for daily living as they are moved out of their homes.
Christians in Mosul were offered the choice of: convert to Islam, pay the traditional Islamic jizya tax (a sign of non-Muslim submission as second-class citizens), leave, or be killed. In July 2014, tens of thousands fled, often robbed of everything at ISIS checkpoints, and escaped with just the clothes they stood up in. In August 7, ISIS overran Qaraqosh, the largest Christian-majority town in Iraq.
Similar events have been happening in Syria for several years. Islamists rebels have focused their violence especially on Christians, their church building and church leaders.
The Middle East is the birthplace of Christianity. Churches and community date back some 2,000 years ago. Yet Christians in Middle East are facing virtual genocide.
Further to your generous giving, please consider prayerfully how you and your church could take part in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, which will be held on 16 November. Please visit this link for more information.
Here is the latest information for your prayer support:
Please do lift up in your prayers the displaced Christians of northern Iraq, who may number as many as 200,000. The first half of November is normally the time when the temperature really drops, winter sets in and four very cold months follow, with snow in January and February. The Christians are deeply distressed by the trauma they have suffered, thousands fleeing for their lives from the Islamic State militant group with literally only the clothes they were wearing, and even now many have no proper roof over their heads. Added to this, they are wondering whether Christianity has a future in their homeland, or whether Islamic State will succeed in eliminating the Christian presence and witness altogether. It is a similar situation in Syria, though less visible in the international media; winter is coming early there and many tens of thousands of Christians need warm clothes, heaters and blankets. Please pray that each of our brothers and sisters will find comfort and consolation in the Lord's loving presence and the promises in His Word. Pray that their practical needs will be provided.