Relaymedia

Displaced Iraq Refugees Find Shelter In an Ancient Biblical Town, Support from American Christians

( [email protected] ) Jul 03, 2014 02:02 PM EDT
Hundreds of Iraqi Christians have been displaced following endless attacks from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Many are fleeing to cities in Iraqi Kurdistan, finding refuge in towns such as the ancient Biblical area of Alqosh.
A family walks toward a temporary camp in Iraq's northern Nineveh province on June 14. (NBC News)

As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continue their brutal rampage against Christians, displaced Iraqis are finding protection in Iraqi Kurdistan and help from Americans of like faith.

According to CBN, many fleeing Christians are taking refuge in the ancient northern Ninevah village of Alqosh, the hometown of the Old Testament prophet Nahum. No Muslims are allowed to live there, as it is exclusively for those of the Christian faith.

"The only protected zones for the Christians are within the Kurdistan Region Government territories, especially within the Kurdish territory in Iraq," Ano Jawhar Abdoka, the head of Shlama Entity for Christians Issues, explained.

"Other places are very dangerous," he continued. "And there are very (many) tensions, of violence against the Christians all over Iraq, especially in the middle and the south of Iraq."

Thus far, ISIS has executed as many as 190 captives earlier this month, according to Human Rights Watch. The death toll rises as the jihadist army continues to attack Christian villages in an effort to acquire more land.

'They (ISIS) have cut off heads. There are eight bodies on the river banks. No one knows what they want," Iraqi refugee Ahmed Hussein said.

Around 2,000 Christians found refuge in the Kurdish city of Erbil after Sunni Muslim gunmen destroyed their towns near the city of Mosul.

"There are a lot of people who wish to emigrate in this situation because our future is unknown," Iraqi Christian refugee Ibrahim Marzina explained. "And in general, the future of Iraq is unknown. But we as a Christian minority, our future is even more unknown. Honestly, we can't predict our future."

To help those affected by the insurgents, a CBN Disaster Relief team led an effort titled "Operation Blessing," providing nearly 100 displaced families with soap, towels and preserved goods.

The team did the same for Christian refugees residing in a school in Alqosh, providing them with dozens of mattresses and pillows.

Although the refugees were "extremely thankful," the team said the displaced families simply wanted to go home. However, experts say it is highly unlikely that Christians will be able to return to their villages as long as ISIS controls the area.

"But at least now, they'll fall asleep on mattresses at the end of the day instead of the floor and rest their war-weary heads in comfort," the team said in a statement.