QARAQOSH, IRAQ — When the so-called Islamic State (IS) took over their town, Qaraqosh in northern Iraq, Mathi and his family had no choice but to flee. He, his wife Nazik and their six children fled to safety – they knew that their Christian faith made them extremely vulnerable.
Five years later, thanks to support from Christian charity Open Doors, they have been able to return home.
My name is Mathi Habib Khodor and I have six children. In 2014 we were forcibly displaced from our city Qaraqosh (by Islamic State). But in 2017 our city was liberated.
When I returned to my city for the first time I cried. My beautiful city was destroyed and deserted. I have no words to describe how I felt. I thought: ‘How can we ever live here again?’
But you enabled us to restore our house. Our house that’s full of memories. Islamic State tried to erase us Christians from this area, but because of you we could return. My city was dead, but it is alive again.
You helped us to show our children that they’re not alone in this world, that there are people who care about them, that there is still humanity in this world.
About Open Doors UK
Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.
Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support, and community development projects.
Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.