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IRAQ: The Cross Returns to The Nineveh Plain

There were tears, praying and singing as the cross ─ deemed illegal by ISIS – returned to the Christian villages in Iraq’s Nineveh Plain.

News continues to emerge of villages being reclaimed from ISIS, and signs of destruction become apparent.

As soon as it was remotely safe, priests were escorted back to their villages by car. In Christian villages like Karamles and Qaraqosh – half an hour’s drive east of Mosul – they were among the first non-combatants to return now the villages have been liberated from ISIS occupation.

Father Thabet, who lives with his congregation in a complex for internally displaced people in Erbil, brought a cross, the size of a man, covered with flowers, with him when he returned to his home village of Karamles.

“I am so happy I can do this. I’m smiling from cheek to cheek and I weep tears of joy at the same time. This is the trip I have been praying for, for two years now,” he said.

He climbed Barbara Hill, next to his village, and planted the cross firmly in the ground overlooking Karamles.

When he arrived in Karamles, Fr Thabet found his church had been heavily damaged by ISIS but was still standing. The church’s cross had been taken off and thrown to the ground. The inside of the church was a mess, but it’s not beyond repair. Fears that the Christian village would be completely uninhabitable have proven to be unfounded.

ISIS conquered the Nineveh Plain – including Iraq’s second city of Mosul and many Christian villages surrounding it – in 2014. Tens of thousands of Christian families had to run for their lives. The battle for Mosul is still being fought, but large Christian settlements surrounding Mosul, like Karamles and Qaraqosh, are already liberated. At night, however, ISIS fighters are still attempting to reclaim territories.

It is expected it will take some time before families can start returning to their villages close to Mosul. Most of them will wait for Mosul itself to be liberated and for ISIS to be driven out completely.

Source: World Watch Monitor

 Prayer Points

  • Praise God for the opportunity for Christians to return home. Join with them in thanking God for this blessing. Pray for the protection of civilians as ISIS becomes more desperate.
  • Pray the city of Mosul and all surrounding villages will soon be liberated and made safe so that many will have an opportunity to return home and rebuild their communities.
  • Pray the name of Jesus will be proclaimed all over Iraq; pray His church will grow.
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2 Responses to IRAQ: The Cross Returns to The Nineveh Plain

  1. Beth Amen 7 November 2016 at 2:43 am #

    Praise God for the wonderful works He is quietly at work doing on behalf of these precious souls near Mosul & I join with you in prayer for continued blessings of restoration for these brothers & sisters to be able to return to their homes and rebuild their communities…and that the body of Christ will grow even stronger now.

  2. Mark Smith 12 November 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    Praise God that the enemy is already defeated, and soon to be made a foot stool for Jesus.

    God’s love will always overcome hatred and destruction, and He will have the victory and the glory. I am praying for the church to be strengthened, and for believers everywhere to be united and resolute in who we are.

    I also pray for Muslim people everywhere to see the light of Jesus Christ, and turn to Him, the author and perfecter of our faith.

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