Photo of The Week

A displaced Iraqi Christian and his son celebrate life after a worship service at a center in Erbil, Iraq.

Refuge from a Nightmare

A displaced Iraqi Christian and his son celebrate life after a worship service at a center in Erbil, northern Iraq, where they took refuge from the death encompassing much of the rest of the country. Sectarian violence along with a jihadist campaign by the Islamic State (ISIS) has rendered many parts of Iraq a nightmare for Christians, and a ministry based in the country is meeting physical and emotional needs. "In general there is a spirit of sadness and frustration because of the loss of everything, and there is not a glimmer of hope to return to their homes in the near future," the ministry director said. "Many of us meet with people who went through catastrophic conditions such as loss of children, mothers, sisters and parents, and some of them saw with their own eyes the death of loved ones in brutal ways." Besides providing food and medicines, ministry workers listen to the displaced people's stories as a way of counseling them. "With the personal needs of refugees, it's very important to help them with everyday challenges, especially if they had children or special needs, but from our point of view, the first need of people is Christ no matter who they are and in what situation," the director said.

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