Iraq - Stop the Slaughter

The Archbishop of York has issued prayers for Iraq, which we've reproduced below:

Holy God, your Holy family was driven into exile and many holy innocent boys were massacred, we hold before you today the suffering people of Mosul. Amen

Hold in your loving arms, all those who have been caught up in this conflict. We pray for those forced to flee their homes, all who have lost friends, family and possessions and who now face an uncertain future. Bless our Christian brothers and sisters who have seen the destruction of their churches and communities and for our Muslim neighbours who have also experienced destruction and suffering. Amen.

The Church of England is encouraging people to download this poster (or this printer friendly version) and to display it in homes, churches and noticeboards to display their support for all religious minorities fleeing persecution.

The poster uses the Arabic letter, "N", which has been daubed on the homes of Christians (often called 'Nasrani' in Arabic) in Mosul to identify them as targets for persecution or execution. This symbol has been picked up around the world as a way in which we can identify with those from all religious and ethnic communities who are being targeted by ISIS. As a church, we are committed to championing freedom of religion and belief worldwide as a fundamental and internationally recognised human right. Even in the UK, we stand firmly against any labelling or targeting of people on the basis of their religion, and we work for a society that continues to be welcoming and respectful of all faiths.

The Archbishop of Canterbury issued a statement on the situation in Iraq.  In the statement Archbishop Justin stated "It is extremely important that aid efforts are supported and that those who have been displaced are able to find safety. I believe that, like France, the United Kingdom's doors should be open to refugees, as they have been throughout history."

Donations can be made to the Anglican Diocese for Cyprus and the Gulf which is part of the Church network functioning alongside the Kurdish authorities in the absence of the normal international relief agencies. The immediate need is funds for food. The next priority is providing accommodation for those sleeping in schools or even in the streets. People on the ground in Erbil expect even more refugees from the surrounding area. Funds from various church agencies worldwide are being pooled through this committee in the attempt to meet the needs of as many as possible, among both Christians and non-Christians, all who have lost their homes and livelihoods, and have been looted of all worldly possessions.

Gifts can also fund the work of Canon Andrew White at St. George's Church in Baghdad and his Foundation for Relief and reconciliation in the Middle East. Canon Andrew White has provided harrowing insight into the persecution being suffered by Iraqi Christians and the Iraqi people by ISIS.

Donations are also encouraged to Christian Aid's Iraq Crisis Appeal. Christian Aid is responding to the humanitarian crisis by working through long standing partners that are operational in the North of Iraq and Kurdistan.