August 26, 2014
By Brittany Tedesco
Throughout the past several months, they’ve been popping up here and there in newspapers across the U.S., the U.K., and a few other developed nations: editorials concerning the “strange silence” and “odd indifference” of the world (particularly the West) toward persecuted Christians in Iraq.
On one level, I can understand their bewilderment and outrage. A bloodthirsty group of extremists described as “the wealthiest Islamist terrorist group in the world” is beheading children. Somebody do something!
Do I wish my government did more to help Christians? Of course, but I’m not holding my breath…or signing any petitions or attending any rallies.
A few weeks ago, another op-ed regarding persecuted Christians popped up, but this one was different from the rest.
Dr. David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, offered the question, “What kind of support [from governments and media] should we expect for persecuted Christians?” His answer? “None.”
If you’re paying attention, the world isn’t getting any friendlier toward Christians. It’s rapidly becoming more hostile toward us. We knew this was coming—the Bible tells us so. Should we be surprised or apoplectic about the world’s indifference toward the suffering saints?
Those aren’t their brothers and sisters caught up in a terrible situation. They’re ours.
It’s my obligation to fall on my face in prayer for them. It’s my obligation to open my wallet and give to them. They’re in Iraq, I’m in the U.S., but we are one Body in Christ. They are my family. They are your family.
As Christians, we are not at the mercy of a government who decides to be indifferent. We don’t have to grovel and beg for them to help us. We belong to Jesus Christ, head over all rule and authority (Colossians 2:10).
Persecution of God’s people is spreading across the globe like a dark cloud. And guess what? If the Lord should tarry, it’s going to darken our doorstep too.
But it hasn’t yet. And today, while it’s still day (John 9:4), we have a chance to help those under its oppression.
"So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10 NASB).
Which brings me to the title of this post: #HelpLocalIraq. Don’t be thrown by the hashtag. It’s not our attempt to be trendy. We’re not trying to compete with #WeAreN.
What we’re trying to do is simple: help the needy in Iraq in the best possible way.
And that best possible way is by equipping the native (local) ministries in Iraq who are acting as the hands and feet of Christ.
The local ministries I’m referring to are ministries that Christian Aid Mission has assisted for 15 years. They know what they’re doing because they’ve been doing it for years. Not only do they know the language and the culture, but they’ve established a reputation among their Iraqi neighbors for being above reproach.
So why #HelpLocalIraq?
Because local ministries will remain long after foreign aid agencies go home. They’re already home.
Because we can wire funds directly to local ministries. Funds don’t go through government bureaucracies. We don’t have time for red tape.
Because local ministries can buy everything they need locally and distribute it immediately. Precious dollars don’t have to be spent to ship goods and/or personnel to the region.
We have an opportunity, today, to help them. Because we are one Body. Because we love the brethren (1 John 3:14).
Visit christianaid.org/Iraq and then help us spread the word by sharing that link and using #HelpLocalIraq.
PS: Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & join in the #HelpLocalIraq conversation!