Imagine being given an ultimatum: convert or “die by the sword,” as ISIS, a terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq, would like to call it. Families have been torn apart -- women raped, homes burned and children beheaded as fathers were forced to watch.
Yosra Salim-Hana, 36, was interviewed by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), and shared her experience:
“‘We fled at midnight... The kids were asleep. We didn't bring anything with us, [and we knew] they would kill us because we are Christian. We are not afraid for ourselves. We are afraid for our kids… All of us were crying. The kids were crying, and [my husband and I] were praying looking for a safe place along the way..."
Salim-Hana is not alone. Church leaders say about 100,000 other Christians have fled the Sunni militants since June, according to the Los Angeles Times.
It is sad to see Iraqi Christians have no support or protection from the Iraqi government. They are living in unsanitary refugee camps hoping to find relief and a safe place to raise their children.
I’m grateful we live in a country where we can voice our opinions and practice our faith freely without persecution.
If you’d like to provide relief to these families, visit www.iraqichristianrelief.org.