Myriam Has Returned with a Message of Forgiveness.

Myriam Has Returned with a Message of Forgiveness.



Recently, aired a follow-up interview  with a sweet girl named Myriam.  Her message: forgiveness. She told ABC News “20/20” co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas,  “Jesus said ‘forgive each other, love each other the way I love you…’”

You might remember Myriam from this lovely video by SAT-7 KIDS, a popular children’s show in the Middle East. They found her in a refugee camp in Irbil last year at Christmas and asked a few questions.   What was so fantastic about this little girl is her love and desire to forgive the terrorists who evicted her and thousands others from their homes.

It is hard to imagine how I’d respond if someone threw me out of my home and threatened my life for being a Christian.  I am embarrassed to admit that forgiveness wouldn’t be my first emotion. I would be angry, terrified, offended…   None of these are loving or trusting attributes.

But Myriam is from Qaraqosh.  It’s a city near Mosul, where as you might remember from August of 2014, ISIS had already swept through.  In an article titled  Iraq Christians flee as Islamic State takes Qaraqosh,  I read “…hundreds of Christian families fled Mosul after the Islamist rebels gave them an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a special tax or be executed.”

Mosul was, and I repeat “was,” one of the oldest Christian villages in the world.  They were Christian since Christ was on earth.  I imagine there are nuances to how they lived in a Christ-like manner that was deeply imbedded into their culture, things they would have taken for granted.

I am intrigued by this as a Yankee living in the Deep South.  I see many cultural nuances that are prominent in this part of the country.  One is impeccable manners.  The South is fuelled by etiquette and you don’t have anything if you ain’t got good manners.  A reply of “Yes, Ma’am.” or “Thank you, sir.” is ingrained into children the moment they can talk.

I imagine similar nuances of Christianity were in Mosul, where Christianity was a part of life for thousands of years.

So for sweet Myriam to want forgiveness above revenge is no surprise.  It’s a perfect witness to the truest understanding of Christ’s teachings.


If you would like to help the refugees from Qaraqosh, Mosel, and around the world, you can contribute to IOCC

You can help the victims of poverty and conflicts around the world by making a financial gift to 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. To make a gift, please visit or call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297.

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. To learn more about IOCC, visit

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About author

Presvytera Vassi Haros

Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She is the owner, designer and photographer of V’s Cardbox, In Service and Love. a greeting card company featuring cards with an Orthodox voice. She strongly feels that experiencing the Orthodox Faith through the church’s cyclical calendar of feasts and fasts is a gift that is too often overlooked.