Converting to Christianity amid Refugee Crisis; The Gospel advances!

Converting to Christianity amid Refugee Crisis; The Gospel advances!


In Northern Iraq, indigenous Christian missionaries saw the gospel advance nearly unopposed, as reported by Iraqi ministry leaders, despite fierce combat in the region with U.S./Iraqi forces and ISIS. The Christian workers here are having trouble keeping up with area residents’ desire to learn about Christ and the Bible, according to ministry leaders. The predominantly Muslim people in the refugee crisis, found in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, have been more open to Christianity than other Iraqis. Since ISIS took over parts of the region, they have been especially keen on hearing and accepting the Christian Gospel.

People are very hungry to know about Christ, especially when they hear about miracles, healing, mercy and love. No one declined a Bible or the opportunity to hear the gospel, though not all came to faith overnight. [Speaking with Muslims, the leader continues:] I didn’t ask you to be Christian. I just want you to read the Bible and know who Jesus Christ is. I want you to have a relationship with God.

In one example, a Kurdish Muslim agreed to accept a Bible, and he began reading the Bible with his wife and their many children. Often, the Christian leaders found him reading the Bible by candlelight, since his house was mostly without electricity.

We just help because we love them, and maybe the next time we visit we tell them about Jesus and give them Bibles. We believe in the power of the Word of God. We don’t have many preachers. We don’t have many missionaries, but we have the Word of God that we’re able to print, purchase and deliver to the people and their children.

At least 10 house churches have regular meetings, and indigenous ministry leader continue to witness the power of the Gospel. This ministry also provides aid to these displaced people in tents and whatever buildings they can find for shelter.

Please show your support for these people and contribute whatever you can to IOCC and missions like this one linked below, and especially keep them all in your prayers!


To read more about these brave Christian missionaries, visit: Christian Aid Mission website

Photo credit: Gospel Herald website

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Make a financial gift to help the indigenous missionaries through the Christian Aid Mission by calling 434-977-5650, and through the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. Please visit or call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622).


IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $534 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, and a member of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.–based secular and faith-based organizations working to improve the lives of the world’s most poor and vulnerable populations. Learn more about IOCC online at

As an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is committed to the support of IOCC. Notably, 92% of every dollar donated to the IOCC directly helps those affecting dire situations.

OCN offers videos, podcasts, blogs and music, to enhance Orthodox Christian life.   We also report on news events in the Orthodox Church and produce This Week in Orthodoxy, a weekly news video with stories and issues of interest to Orthodox Christians around the world.

About author

Eleni Alexiou

Eleni brings to the Orthodox Christian Network diverse experience as an accomplished director in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She holds a BS from Florida State University, a Master’s of Clinical Social Work from Simmons College School, a LCSW-C (License in Clinical Social Work) with years of experience working within the Orthodox community. She is a leader in non-profits and administration with 20 years of supervisory experience, staff development & management, coordinating of volunteers, community outreach, and fundraising. Eleni joined OCN to inspire and spread media ministry in the Orthodoxy.