WHAT CAN I DO FOR IRAQI & SYRIAN REFUGEES?
This post is a re-post from our LIFECITYCHURCH.com blog which has been transitioned over to this site. (Monday 11th of August)
WHAT"S GOING ON?
Two good simple posts from others on some of the cultural, political, religious and historical matters involved.
"A five minute briefing on ISIL and the situation in Iraq" - Peter Pilt
"Struggle for Iraq" - BBC
WHAT CAN I DO?
Often we say, "What practical steps can I take to help?" Remember, prayer is practical. Pray...
a) Pray for supernatural intervention
b) Pray for wisdom for Governments and those positioned to make a difference - pray that Christians (and other minorities "can have a quiet a peaceful life" 1 Tim 2:2)
c) Pray for people to turn to Christ, that their blind eyes would be open, that believers would still keep the Gospel declaration and demonstration in their view (2 Thes 3:1)
Remember, God is in the business of saving broken, sinful people irrelevant of what they have done, even terrorists.
Join together in the Open Doors day of prayer for Iraq – check out the facebook event by 'Open Doors'
2. MAINTAIN THE 'RAGE'
It is easy to 'move on' in life especially with so many significant causes globally but keep the poor, the hurting and the destitute in your view. This situation is somewhat unusual in it's intensity.
'Click cause' rage is of little help if it is simply a 'like' or profile pic change however keep in mind that solidarity and encouragement is found through such as well. It must be part of a broader action.
What is happening Iraq has been largely overlooked in light of the other (also deserving) issues facing the world at present. The Iraq situation is considered a 'hot potato' from a political perspective, governments are now making their moves but they are largely 'reserved' actions.
Social Network possibilities
Arabic 'N' – profile picture for facebook see link http://lifecitychurch.com/We%20are%20n.jpg
The Arabic letter 'N' – 'nun' has been used by ISIS to mark Christian households.
Use – the hashtag #WEAREN
A couple crucial points
a) Avoid generalisations – use ISIS or 'the Islamic State' not 'Muslims are...'
b) Remember that whilst Christians are very much central in this issue that other minorities such as Shia and Yazidi's also need our prayer and help.
c) Stay informed – feel the stories not just the statistics.
Refugees fleeing ISIS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUz-60Mjmss
"The would not convert and it cost them their lives" - http://www.christiantoday.com/article/they.would.not.convert.and.it.cost.them.their.life.family.of.eight.iraqi.christians.shot.in.the.face/39360.htm
Assyrian Christians being forced out of their Cities - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZl5wVbFjHM&feature=youtu.be
Syrian Refugees that have moved into Kurdistan - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RPGdwcwzrE
3. CONTACT YOUR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE to encourage action
You can find their contacts via this link
I would encourage you to also make it a public social request – post your question on their facebook wall and twitter. A public request encourages a public response.
France has already made the decision to specifically open it's doors to Christian refugees from this conflict. Encourage our government to do so as well (yes, I know in our present context 'Welcome' arms seem far from the norm in politics)
Also, sign this petition - http://refugees.acl.org.au/
4. GIVE FINANCIALLY
There are Christian organisations working on the ground to make a difference for those fleeing persecution. We are presently exploring some options that could be effective. For the moment we have included other reputable organisations that work in the ground.
A couple options
Voice of the Martyrs – with contacts on the ground is delivering 'Action Packs' practical help packs – to refugees http://www.persecution.com/actionpacks
Open Doors - https://www.opendoors.org.au/praynow/prayforiraq – this includes pray information and practical financial giving options
Barnabas Fund - http://barnabasfund.org/AU/News/Latest-emergencies/Iraqi-Christians-on-the-run-endangered-and-in-need-Will-you-help.html
The Photo is used under "Creative Commons - Syrian Boys who fled their home" under CC BY 2.0