A Shai Fund team will be traveling back to northern Iraq this coming week to assist the thousands of refugees who have fallen victim to the atrocities of the Islamic State (IS). One of the projects that Shai Fund will support while in Iraq will be with the internally displaced person (IDP) Christian community in Erbil.
Many of these minorities fled in the summer of 2014, when Islamic State fighters took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and historically home to many of the Christians and other minorities, causing an estimated 500,000 people to flee in the first week alone.
The Christians and other minorities fled their homelands as they were one of the primary targets of violence; summary executions, forced conversions, kidnappings, torture, rapes, sexual trafficking, looting and destruction of property
For the first time in two thousand years the church bells no longer ring in Mosul and the Ninevah Plains.
What most people don't realize, however, is that for the last fifteen years, Christians in Iraq have witnessed their churches, businesses and homes becoming the targets of coordinated attacks. Kidnappings, as well as verbal and written threats to convert to Islam, pay Jizyah (a tax imposed upon non-Muslims), leave the country or suffer death, are commonplace reports by Christians who have fled.
This trip is part of Shai Fund’s Project Nazarene; an ongoing effort to support the religious minorities that have fled the Islamic State. So far, our delivery of this project has included working with the Ministry of Health and training doctors giving gynecological assistance to Yezidi women and girls who were kidnapped by the Islamic State, and distributing relief aid to thousands of displaced communities in camps, unfinished buildings with exposed wiring and water leaks, church halls and sanctuaries, gardens, and in tents.
Please consider supporting the work Shai Fund is doing to help Iraqi Christians and other minority groups who have fled ISIS: