For the first time in the history of Iraq, the ancient city of Mosul is now empty of Christians, due to Islamic jihadists who have brutally killed, robbed and plundered their way across that country, conquering major cities, including Mosul—the traditional home of the largest concentration of Christians living in Iraq.
Mosul is the modern name for the ancient city of Nineveh, where tradition says that the Apostle Thomas first declared the Gospel to the people there, near the tomb of Jonah, in the 1st Century.
Once the terrorists of “The Islamic State” captured Mosul, they gave all remaining Christians a historic, Muslim ultimatum—they must either convert to Islam, pay an oppressive religious tax, or be executed. To make their threats clear, they burned an ancient Christian church in Mosul. Most of the city’s Christians fled with just the clothes on their backs, in the face of this radical religious persecution.
Jesus told his disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first…no servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:18-20). The Apostle Paul told Timothy that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Friends, let us pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world and then pray that God will help us to be faithful to our Lord, even unto death.