Chaos has unfolded throughout every decade of Iraq’s recent history. Today, a virus keeps the country closed, leaving the vulnerable unable to access basic resources. The vulnerable include those displaced by ISIS, Islamic extremists whose genocide against religious minorities sowed chaos across Iraq. The genocide was foreshadowed by a massive bombing against a church a few years prior. But even before this, chaos was still unfolding. The early 2000s were plagued by militia violence, prompting one of the first waves of Christian immigration from Iraq.
For Iraqi Christians, chaos and uncertainty have always defined life. Today’s uncertainty is different. Rather than fleeing their homes, Christians are staying home and reflecting on the spiritual lessons they have learned throughout years of persecution.
Sarah is a young woman living in Baghdad, active in her church, and musically gifted. She has watched how decades of persecution have impacted the Christian community. “Churches in Iraq—Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestants—were always there in every crisis passed, since forever,” she observes. Now again, the country is in a crisis. This time, however, the churches are closed. For Sarah, that is not necessarily bad. “Personally, the current crisis improved my spiritual life. God is my shelter, where I can run to whenever needed.”
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