Persecuted Christians from Burma go to Iraq to help ISIS victims

  • Written by:

Jardine Malado
Free Burma Rangers appear in a screen shot of a footage of their rescue mission in Mosul
As Iraqi forces continue to push their way into Mosul to liberate the city from the Islamic State, Christians who experienced persecution in Burma are risking their lives in war zones in Iraq to help the victims of the terror group.

Free Burma Rangers (FBR) was formed with the aim of providing humanitarian aid to the Burmese minorities who were displaced by persecution from the military government. Led by former U.S. Army Ranger officer David Eubank, the group had established over 70 relief teams in Burma, representing 13 different ethnic minorities. Apart from providing medical assistance, food and shelter in combat areas, FBR also documents human rights abuses.

The group took the opportunity to help oppressed Iraqis and Syrians in February 2015. In an interview with The Christian Post, Eubank revealed that he was contacted by a friend who was working as a missionary in Kurdistan after ISIS took over the Nineveh Plains in Iraq in 2014.

His friend pleaded for him to come to Kurdistan, but the Burma Army was standing in their way, making it almost impossible for them to leave the country. After Eubank prayed to God, the Burmese army moved the very next day.

With the help of another friend in the U.S., Eubank was able to purchase plane tickets to Kurdistan.

“On the first trip to Kurdistan is when I was on the front lines with the Kurdish army and I was on top of Sinjar Mountain with ISIS down below and looked out and asked God, ‘What do you want me to do?'” Eubank narrated. “I just felt him say, ‘Give up the Free Burma Ranger way and help these people,'” he continued.

He went on to meet with FBR team members in Thailand to ask them to join him in his mission. Eubank, along with his wife, daughter and son, went back to Kurdistan with about five of his ethnic Burmese team members.

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Eubank said that all of the team members were Christians who have experienced persecution, and some have lost family members in military conflicts.

“So you get these guys from Burma and their war is not over yet. If you ask them ‘Why are you going,’ they will say, ‘God is leading us and people have helped us so we should help others,'” Eubank recounted.

He noted that the ethnic team members have become world-class medics through their experiences in Burma.

In November 2016, an NGO asked FBR to go to Mosul to provide food to residents who were not able to escape the city and aid wounded Iraqi soldiers. Eubank said that FBR will go wherever there are people who needed their help.

“In this case, the people we needed to help were in Mosul. We were right in with the Iraqi Army, giving them medical care when they got shot, giving food and supplies for the city people,” he recounted.

Eubank returned to Burma last December for the graduation of 17 new FBR relief teams, but he was in the process of returning to Mosul when he was interviewed, according to The Christian Post.