The native Christian populaces of Syria and Iraq had already been enduring persecution, but the rise of ISIS resulted in unimaginable suffering for them. And progress made by others against ISIS is no guarantee of the Christians’ peace and safety.
Christian Post reporter Samuel Smith wrote a piece exposing fears and anxieties for Iraqi Christians as they move forward after ISIS occupation: “Although Iraqi-led coalition forces are fighting to liberate Mosul and many Christian villages in the Nineveh Plains from IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh), much uncertainty remains about what the future will look like for Iraqi Christians in their ancient homelands” (“Iraqi Christians Fear Persecution in Post-ISIS Iraq,” Nov. 24, 2016).
These communities are bravely rebuilding after being engulfed in ISIS’ brutal occupation, but the road ahead is a long one, with much of the region devastated: “Simply rebuilding many of the Christian towns in the region will be a years-long undertaking … The town of Qaraqosh, which was once home to 50,000 Christians, has been 65 percent destroyed” (ibid.).
These and similar stories are a chilling reminder that even in our modern world, worship at times comes with serious dangers, as these people have been killed, tortured and brutalized simply for identifying as followers of Christ. We in Western societies should not take our precious freedom of religion for granted and should take full advantage of this freedom while God allows us to have it. (Source: The Christian Post. )