Many Christians have been robbed, injured or killed in Iraq by the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS. Without any home to return to, no money nor any valuable belongings, these Christians need all the support they can get in order to survive and rebuild their lives.
The last Christian has left Mosul after an ultimatum received from the Islamic State (IS) group to convert to Islam, pay a heavy tax or face death. Mosul is the second largest city in Iraq and until recently the residence of thousands of Christians for almost two thousand years. The atrocities committed against Christians by the IS fighters are appalling and known to the whole world. They are directed at all those not sharing their beliefs, mostly Christians.
Unfortunately, Christians being persecuted is not something that happened only in the first few centuries of Christianity. It happens today and not only in Mosul. We have all heard of Meriam Ibrahim who was imprisoned and sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man. Her story had a happy turnout when she was released. But for many thousands of Christians, the story has been different. According to the International Society for Human Rights, Christians are the most persecuted and discriminated religious people.
ECPM is deeply concerned with the situation of Christians that had to flee Mosul in order to save their lives. Even though they are in safe hands for the moment nobody knows what might happen in the near future. The same is true for the Christians in Syria.
According to its vision as presented in the Election Manifesto, the ECPM is dedicated among others to promoting the Freedom of Faith, Conscience and Expression:
“Faith, conscience and expression are relational and fundamental freedoms. These freedoms mean that we do not just make our own conviction heard but that we give each other the space to do the same, individually and together. Real freedom of faith, conscience and expression only becomes visible via relations with those who feel, think or act differently”
What is happening today in many countries especially in IS occupied territories goes directly against any interpretation of freedom of faith. ECPM urges all heads of state to take the necessary actions and put an end to this injustice. Further, we encourage all Christians to join in prayer on this Day of Prayer for Iraqi Christians.