August 14, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As you may have heard, the persecution of Christians in Iraq is growing more serious each day. The Islamic extremist group IS (formerly known as ISIS) has declared a part of Iraq and Syria as a caliphate - a separate Islamic state - and are using this as a reason to brutally murder Christians. The town of Qaraqosh, a predominantly Christian city, was captured a few days ago, with terrifying and horrible results for the Christians living there. Similar violent attacks have happened in Mosul and Nineveh, with many residents of these cities fleeing to another Christian city in the north, Erbil. However, there are many who say that this city is the next city that will be attacked by the IS extremists.

In light of these dire circumstances for our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq, many primates of the Anglican Communion, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and our Presiding Bishop, have issued calls to prayer for the Christians in Iraq. The Presiding Bishop has asked the churches in the Episcopal Church to observe Sunday, August 17th as a day of prayer for those in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. I encourage all of you to join in prayer this Sunday, and in your daily prayers, for the Christians suffering persecution in Iraq. I encourage you to pray not only that the IS group's militant activities be stopped and for peace to prevail in Iraq, but also for the protection of our Christian brothers and sisters as they attempt to flee to safety. I also encourage all of you to pray specifically for the Christian clergy in Iraq, for provision for the refugees fleeing the violence, and for the perseverance of those helping both the refugees and those choosing to stay in their homes.

Your Brother in Christ,




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