[Anglican Alliance] Archbishop Francisco da Silva, the Primate of Brazil, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and the Primate of Australia Philip Freier, are among those joining the worldwide call for prayer as Christians and minority groups are forced from their homes and the conflict in Iraq continues.
Archbishop Francisco released a statement on Friday 8th August and said:
"Unfortunately we're watching once more a sad situation of political conflict with religious motivation in a troubled Iraq. I urge our Anglican communities to offer a moment of prayer for Christians and other religious minorities in northern Iraq.
"In the 21st century this kind of violation of the right to live their faith freely is inconceivable. More than a hundred thousand refugees are isolated in the mountains of northern Iraq, under inhumane conditions.
"May God sustain the faith of these brothers and sisters and may hatred be transformed to respect! Every human being has the right to live their faith offering and receiving the respectful recognition of their beliefs. Political power has no right to inflict moral or material damage against those who have different beliefs."
Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, released this statement on Iraq and said:
"What we are seeing in Iraq violates brutally people’s right to freedom of religion and belief, as set out under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is extremely important that aid efforts are supported and that those who have been displaced are able to find safety."
Archbishop Justin also remembered those around the world facing conflict and persecution and said, "We must continue to cry to God for peace and justice and security throughout the world. Those suffering such appalling treatment in Iraq are especially in my prayers at this time."
Anglican Overseas Aid have launched this appeal with the Primate of Australia, the Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Archbishop Freier said:
"I have launched an appeal through Anglican Overseas Aid to help provide relief for those fleeing the ISIS fighters. It is reported that more than 1.2 million people have been forced to flee, plus another 200,000 Syrians who have sought refuge in Northern Iraq.
"More than 200,000 people have been displaced in the past fortnight, including all the residents of Iraq's largest Christian town Qaraqosh and a large number of the Yazidi minority group.
"Aid agencies cannot cope with the influx, and the suffering is immense. The refugees need food, water, clothes, medical supplies and much more. I ask Anglicans and others to give sacrificially."
The Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf have released this appeal. They said, "In the past days, with the massive displacement of people from the Nineveh plain (Mosul, Qaraqosh, etc), Erbil has become the centre of a massive relief effort, coordinated by a council of Church leaders from the Chaldean, Syrian, Armenian and other churches. Funds from various church agencies worldwide are being pooled through this committee in the attempt to meet the needs of as many as possible, among both Christians and non-Christians, all who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and have been looted of all worldly possessions."
PWRDF has announced an initial grant of US $10,000 through the ACT Alliance to provide aid to some of the over one million people displaced following the conflict in northern and western Iraq.
The response will provide:
- 12,500 displaced families and their host communities with access to clean water
- 5500 vulnerable families with emergency food relief
- 5000 vulnerable people with support services for psychosocial and health care
- 400 families with needed household supplies
- 400 families with health and hygiene kits
- Over 400 families with cash assistance
And the Mothers' Union have responded to the call for prayer against the persecution of Christians in Iraq. Mothers’ Union has approximately 3,250 members in Iraq. They are focusing on these prayer points:
- Pray for the protection of us and all Christians here.
- Pray for our provision that we may be able to help all in need at this desperate time.
- Pray for our perseverance that we and our people will not give up the spiritual fight before us.
More prayer resources are available on the Mothers' Union website at http://www.mothersunion.org/prayers-iraq
Christian Aid have also published these prayer resources for those around the world showing solidarity with persecuted communities through prayer for Iraq.