Thousands of Muslims disillusioned by the violence and unrest in Mosul - ISIS' last stronghold in Iraq - are embracing Christianity and "begging" Christ for healing after experiencing the love of Christ and hearing the truth of the Gospel.
A ministry director working in in northern Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan shared with Christian Aid Mission how his organization has been distributing Bibles, leading Bible studies and holding discipleship training sessions for displaced people for more than two years.
He revealed that before ISIS seized Mosul in 2014, it had the reputation as the Iraqi city that was most closed to the gospel. However, triggered by the lack of freedom in Islam and gratitude to Christians offering help to refugees fleeing war-torn countries, thousands have turned to Christianity.
"So now they see the true face of Islam, they saw the teachings of Islam and they know what it means to be under the Islamic State," he said. "I believe a lot of heart-breaking stories will come out of Mosul with people who are ready to leave Islam and beg for Christ to take their lives and give them healing."
As Iraqi forces push ahead with their offensive to drive ISIS out of their stronghold, militants have forced about 1,500 families to retreat with them and abducted 295 former Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) members from villages on the outskirts of the city, Reuters reports. Eighteen of the town's 30 sheiks have been killed, according to a report received by the United Nations.
The reports of the abductions and killings come in the wake of the discovery of a mass grave outside Hammam al-Alil, a town south of Mosul recaptured Monday from ISIS.
"They're keeping a lot of people hostages - anybody running away, they're killing," the ministry director said. "There were two brothers; they killed one of them while he was running out. Most of the people are hostages right now. They want to flee, they just can't. What's happening right now in Mosul is what they did to the Christians; it's genocide. They're killing everyone who's not working with them or not helping them."
The ministry director said his organization is getting ready to help hundreds of such families who will be evacuated to camps for displaced persons: "We're getting ready for them - if we start seeing groups coming our way, then we're going to minister to them," the Christian leader said, adding that his organization needs assistance to prepare aid supplies. "We don't have many resources. I don't have a lot of food and medicine and other items, but we're going to do as much as we can."
Currently, the ministry is asking for assistance to purchase food, clothing, blankets, tents, medicines and Bibles.
"I want to encourage people to supply whoever is working there, whether us or anyone else, to help these people, supply them with the Word of God, supply them with the tools they need to work with these refugees who are coming," the director said. "And if Mosul is going to get liberated, Lord willing, we will be going to Mosul to do some work there. I hope to put a Bible in every house in Mosul and declare Christ as King of kings and Lord."
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