Orthodox Christian Network brings you news of events and people important to the life of the Orthodox Church around the world. OCN highlights media organizations that track these important stories.
This past week on 60 Minutes, an American reporter-centered investigative news program, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East was the first segment of the show. This full segment gives us true insight into the oppression that Christians of the Middle East deal with on a daily basis by showing pieces of interviews with the Christians in refugee camps. These Christians were originally from Mosul and were driven out of their churches and homes.
The persecution of Christians is even compared to the Holocaust. “ISIS marks the houses of Orthodox Christians like the Nazis used to mark Jewish property.” We have heard in previous reports as well that ISIS marks the homes of Christians and will show up to their doors, force them to covert to Islam, and if they choose not to, they are extorted to pay a burdensome tax, or worse, face the sword.
The segment highlights an interview with Archbishop Nicodemus Sharaf of Mosul. He describes how Mosul and the Nineveh plains were places where Christianity thrived, but now it has been completely forced out. Christians were driven out of their homes, and their homes are being destroyed. Churches have been burned down or converted into mosques. They told Archbishop Sharaf that he had 5 minutes to leave, or else he would be killed. He took as many manuscripts and relics as he could so that he could protect them, and, with tears in his eyes, said that documents and relics traced back to the 1st century are destroyed and lost forever. What took thousands of years to build has now been shattered in just months.
How long will the persecution of Christians in the Middle East continue? Will it take until every Christian gets driven out of their home? We should not be afraid of the future but rather stay strong. We must continue to pray for our brothers and sisters and show our support because as Archbishop Nicodemus Sharaf of Mosul most passionately stated, “They can take everything from us, but they cannot take God from our hearts.”
Here’s the full episode of Christian Persecution on 60 min:
Ways to support Persecuted Christians in the Middle East:
St. Katherines “I TOO AM A NAZARENE” Pin:
All pin proceeds will be directed by our Church to the IOCC* to provide aid to those persecuted and impoverished in the Middle East
IOCC Emergency Response Fund:
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
IOCC has been assisting persecuted Christians by giving Emergency Aid, Shelter, Hygiene, Economic recovery, Psychosocial Support, extra help to infants and children, and any type of Medical help/procedure.
Orthodox Christian Network (OCN):
OCN is the official media agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops and its mission is to comfort, inspire, and inform Orthodox Christians and seekers worldwide. OCN is committed to raising awareness about Christian persecution around the world, especially in the Middle East, where millions are suffering today.
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