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Standing with “N” Christians

I Am N T-Shirt

Do you remember the story of Jonah and the big fish? God wanted Jonah to warn the evil people of Ninevah that they would be destroyed if they did not stop sinning. But Jonah ran from God and ended up inside a big fish. After Jonah’s adventure in the sea, he obeyed God and warned the people of Ninevah. They repented of their sins and were not destroyed at that time.

The biblical city of Ninevah is in ruins today. But nearby is the city of Mosul, Iraq. Radical Muslims warned the Christians in Mosul to either leave the city or to become Muslims. Thousands of Christians fled their homes. “I am confused and sad,” said an Iraqi Christian.

The Muslims marked the homes of Christians with the symbol for the Arabic letter “N.” (See the symbol on the shirts in the photo.) The Muslims used the symbol to stand for “Nazarenes,” an Arabic term that is used to insult Christians.

Christians around the world began using the symbol not as an insult, but to show that they supported Christians who face threats and danger from extremist Muslims.

Like Jonah, some of the Christians who have left their homes are sharing the truth about God with Muslims. Cole Richards, Executive Vice President of The Voice of the Martyrs, said, “More Muslims are coming to Christ now… than at any time in the history of missions since the advent of Islam 1400 years ago.”

Praise God for Christians who obey God and share the gospel, even in dangerous places, and for Christians around the world who stand up for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

  • *Outreach Packs are one way Christians are sharing the love of God with Muslims. Learn more here.
  • *Bold Believers in Syria, available in the Downloads section, includes stories about persecuted Syrian Christians. The book provides appropriate companion information for VOM’s “I Am N” information and resources.

Iraqi Kids

Iraqi Kids

A VOM partner has asked that Christians pray for Iraqi refugee children who cannot attend school. Many Iraqi kids and their families were forced to leave everything behind when the terrorist group ISIS took over their towns in Iraq. Some now live in Jordan. The Voice of the Martyrs is providing Iraqi refugees in Jordan with food and other needed items they need.

Two of the children are shown in the photo.

Make a Prayer Card
Print the photo, and tape it to an index card or another card. Write something on the card to help you remember what to pray for the refugee children.

Miriam: An Iraqi Refugee

The previous post told about Christians in Iraq who have been driven from their homes by ISIS, a radical Muslim group. The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christians who have taken refuge in a mall that has been partly turned into a refugee camp.

The video in this post from SAT-7 shows an interview with a girl who lives with other refugees at the mall. SAT-7 is a Christian TV network.

As you watch the video, look for answers to the following questions.

  • How old is Miriam?
  • How long has she lived at the refugee camp?
  • What does Miriam want to do about those who drove her from her home?

Visiting Refugees in Iraq

The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christians who have been driven out of their homes by ISIS, a radical Muslim group.

Note: A radical Muslim group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has become well-known for their part in violence in Syria and Iraq. They changed their name first to “ISIS,” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Then to emphasize their goal of creating a large Muslim nation, they changed their name to “IS,” the Islamic State.

Watch the video clip from a VOM worker’s recent visit with Christian refugees in Iraq. The refugees had to settle in a different part of Iraq after their area was attacked.

What do the refugees say they need from people around the world?

The VOM worker wrote the following thank you note to the brave Christians he met.

To Our Dear Iraqi Sisters and Brothers,

Thank you for standing strong for your faith.

Thank you for being an example for the rest of us.

Thank you for refreshing us by sharing how God has refreshed you.

Thank you for being willing to give up everything to follow Jesus, and for reminding us that He is worth it.

We thank God for you and your faithfulness.

We don’t want to turn our back on you; we don’t want to leave any of our family members behind.

We want to pull each other up. We want to draw strength from your victories, and to learn from your examples.

Together, we will keep our eyes fixed on the distant horizon, knowing that God is with us and He will never leave us or forsake us!

Your Brothers and Sisters in America

Watch another clip about refugees in Iraq in the post What’s Happening in Iraq.

Ready to Listen

Iraqi boy

The following story is adapted from an article in the April 2015 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, which features stories of God changing people through Bibles sponsored by VOM donors.

Ehsan did not want to be a Christian. As a Muslim in Iraq, he had been taught that Christianity was wrong. Also, he knew some Christians who were sinful.

Ehsan had a friend, Azhar, who tried to help him understand Jesus and His love for everyone. Azhar explained that the Bible teaches that sin in wrong, and that some people who call themselves Christians may not be true believers.

But Ehsan wasn’t ready to listen.

Then radical Muslims from the Islamic State (IS) attacked Mosul, Iraq. Thousands of Christians and Muslims fled from the fighting in fear. They found safety in an area where VOM distributes Action Packs and Bibles to refugees.

Ehsan watched Azhar and a VOM team serve the refugees for two months. Then he asked Azhar to tell him the reason why Christians would help strangers in trouble. “How can you love people you don’t even know?” he asked. “What is the reason for this love? Why do you include Bibles in these packs?”

Ehsan was ready to listen.

“God is the one who gives us this love,” Azhar told Ehsan. And he gave Ehsan a Bible.

After reading the Bible, Ehsan said to Azhar, “Now I am more thirsty and hungry to know about Jesus.”

Ehsan gave his life to Jesus, began attending a house church, and was baptized. But now he faces a big obstacle. He plans to tell his Muslim family that he is a Christian.

“Pray that he will be protected,” Azhar said. “Pray that he will grow spiritually and that he won’t have fear.”

To Think About

  • Ehsan did not want to listen to Azhar talk about Jesus partly because he knew some sinful Christians. What did Azhar tell him about sin and about some Christians?
  • Ehsan learned more about Christians from watching Azhar and other Christians serve others. If a non-Christian watched your family or class for a day, what would they learn about Christians?