I don't know about any of you, but everything that is happening in Iraq is heartbreaking. I can hardly believe the things that have happened and the things I have read about are in fact real events that are going on and it's not just some horror movie. I recently just read an article from Catholicculture.org that stated :
"Sunni jihadist group, which controls much of Syria and Iraq, took control of Mosul, Iraq’s 2nd-largest city, in June.
The family members alleged that over a period of three days, the Islamic State auctioned 700 Yazidi women in Mosul as slaves. Other witnesses, according to the report, alleged that Christian men and boys who remained in Mosul have been forcibly circumcised without anesthesia."
The devastation that is occurring is truly unbelievable and when I read what has been happening I feel helpless. These are Christian men, women and children suffering and who are the targets of these attacks. I started to question, what could I possibly to do help. Prayer. That is really the only thing I can do right here, right now. I invite you to join with me by saying this prayer for peace:
Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Baghdad has personally put together this prayer of peace for Christians to pray:
The plight of our country
is deep, and the suffering of Christians
is severe and frightening.
Therefore, we ask you Lord
to spare our lives, and to grant us patience,
and courage to continue our witness of Christian values
with trust and hope.
Lord, peace is the foundation of life;
Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us
to live with each other without fear and anxiety,
and with dignity and joy.
Glory be to you forever.
So, again, I urge everyone to keep the Iraqi Christians suffering right now in your prayers and pray that our world leaders would have the wisdom and courage to know what to do in these awful times.
I apologize for the "heaviness" of this post, but it has been weighing on my heart to say something. To voice that prayer is needed and that persecution is real. I pray that the Christians in the US never take for granted our ability to be open about our faith, to walk into church without anxiety and to be able to walk freely in public and talk about our religion. What a gift that truly is.
Praying for peace and praying there is an end to all of this soon.
(Image at top of page from: http://owfi.info)