By Jay Gotera , Christian Post Contributor
The Christian population of Iraq might have diminished as a result of the campaign of genocide launched by the Islamic State (ISIS), which occupied parts of the country. Many Iraqi Christian residents abandoned their homes and sought sanctuary elsewhere as a result of the ISIS onslaught.
(PHOTO: OPEN DOORS UK)Iraqi children check the pages of Christian books distributed to them by the Christian charity Open Doors.
However, with the war coming to a close, Christians are trickling back to their homes despite the massive damage caused by the war.
Christian organizations are doing their share to help restore normality and the people’s faith in Christ.
Open Doors USA is one of the charities currently engaged in spreading the gospel in the war-ravaged land. This year, through its local partners and churches in Iraq, the Christian persecution watchdog plans to distribute more than 50,000 Bibles, children’s Bibles and Bible study books among Iraqi Christians.
An Open Doors team recently joined Bible distributor Sajjad in one of his distribution trips in northern Iraq. The workers visited the Christian village of Mala Barwan where hundreds of Christians, including scores of children, greeted them.
The team distributed coloring books with Bible stories to about 200 young children from Christian families. Older children received books with Bible stories.
“The purpose of distributing these books is that children and youth will understand better what God has to tell them in the Bible,” Sajjad said.
A 13-year-old girl named Fadia was one of the recipients. “Through these books, I understand who Jesus is. I know Him better now,” she said.
Many Christian families who used to live on Iraq’s Nineveh Plain lost all their belongings—including their Bibles—when the ISIS invasion forced them to flee in 2014.
Sajjad said this is the reason why the demand for Bibles and other Christian materials among Iraqi Christians remains high.
“What we do with these books is sowing the seeds of the gospel in their lives,” he said. “My dream is that, within 15 years, the seeds will have grown up and these children will be mature believers and have a living relationship with Christ. We will need a lot of prayer to make that happen.”
Another group doing its share in spreading the gospel in the Middle East is the Bible Society. On its website, the ministry said it has discovered an “unprecedented demand for Scriptures” in the war-battered region.
It says the demand comes not only from Christian residents but also from Muslims who are “looking for an alternative to the extreme expression of Islam they see around them.”