Q - "What we can do (beyond prayer) to help the Christians being persecuted in Iraq. Is there a reputable organization you know of that we could donate to that is currently aiding them?"
A - Thanks for the question. I believe a number of people want to know the answer, so I hope I can help.
If others don't know what is happening in Iraq (and parts of Syria), there are areas, especially in Mosul and the surrounding area, where Christians have been threatened by Muslim extremists (and some have been killed, beaten, and raped). They have been told they need to convert, move, or die. These are the only three options they have been given. Sadly, it is thought that the entire Christian population has had to flee from the persecution and the international community and the Iraqi government have done very little to support the Christians who are now refugees from persecution and threats. Many others have been killed, raped, and abducted. A new religious cleansing is now taking place. A genocide.
Of course, since we are not the decision makers in this area, we have to rely on others. The first one we always rely on is God. So, please do not stop praying. I know sometimes we Christians can sometimes downplay the power of prayer too much. God being all-powerful and loving isn't just philosophical truisms. They are facts.
With that being said, because the situation is dire for Christians in Iraq (esp. Mosul), we must not sit by and allow the persecution of innocents happen, to the extent we can do more. So, here are some things we can do.
- Give to organizations that are providing direct assistance to the Christians who are fleeing. They include Catholic Relief Services and Aid To The Church In Need.
- Write and call your U.S. Senators, Representative, and the White House. It is important the USA leads the way in helping Christians, just as they did when the Kurdish Muslims were threatened.
- Inform others about what is going on and ask them to join in with helping by doing all three things mentioned here. One way to raise awareness is to post the image above on Facebook and other websites. It is an image of the Arabic letter nun (the English equivalent is the letter N), which is the first letter of the word Nasara (Nazarenes), the word Muslims use to refer to Christians. Extremists have marked Christian homes with this image to intimidate them. It is also being used, in turn, by Christians as a show of support for those being persecuted.
- Fast and offer spiritual sacrifices for those that are truly suffering.
- Pray more and ask others to pray with you.