A report has been published this week highlighting the dire situation faced by Iraq’s ethnic and religious minority groups.  

Drawing attention to the disproportionate affect of the violence on minority groups – Yezidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Kaka’I and Christians in particular – the report documents the suffering of these communities stating that many thousands have been “murdered, maimed or abducted” in Iraq.

Millions of people are displaced trying to escape the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) with untold amounts of women and children forced into marriage, sexual slavery and exploitation by the group.  Despite widespread condemnation, ISIS has continued to breach international humanitarian and criminal law, targeting civilians and civilian property, bringing death and destruction in their wake.

 Prior to June 2014, some two-thirds of the pre-2003 Iraqi Christian community – thought to number between 800,000 and 1.4 million – had already left the country.

The ongoing violence gives little option but for people to flee. Before 2003 there were as many as 1.4 million Christians in Iraq, dwindling to 350,000 by early 2014, and since the ISIS advance is now estimated to be under 250,000.

Desire for revenge and retribution 

The plight of Iraq’s minorities has resulted in a loss of trust in the Government’s willingness or ability to protect these groups, and often results in further tensions within communities.  The report recommends humanitarian assistance to displaced people in need, better security and basic services as well peace and reconciliation efforts.

the desire for revenge is often strong and may trump the call for justice

Reconciliation work is key as:  “Among communities that have suffered mass killings, abductions and sexual violence, the desire for revenge is often strong and may trump the call for justice."  

Read more about Feba's focus area of Peace and Reconciliation with a case study on the work of our partner station, Iraq FM

Seek peace and pursue it

Our partners in Iraq work in extremely challenging circumstances to deliver radio that speaks peace and reconciliation to communities affected by violence.

Shocked and saddened by previous events in Baghdad and across the country our media advisor in Iraq has requested your prayers:

  1. My first request for you is for security and for God to protect us, our families and our lives, because our lives are now in great danger. Pray for God to protect us during these difficult circumstances. 

  2. My second prayer request is for the cease of fire and fighting. For this to happen we need to constantly and fervently pray.

  3. My last request is: pray that our radio station would be a blessing for our listeners as they go through difficult times.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq at this time as well as the friends and family of the 250 killed in the recent Baghdad suicide bombing.   

updated Wed 6th July 2016

See also:

Life as a Christian Radio Producer in Iraq