Keep watch on yourselves! ‘If your brother does something wrong, rebuke him and, if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry,” you must forgive him.’ -Luke 17: 3-4
According to CBS, ISIS has resorted to using guerilla tactics in their desperate fight against the onslaught from US-backed Iraqi troops.
The terrorist organization has resorted to homemade explosives, networks of subterranean tunnels and suicide bombers.
Evidence of the war is everywhere from the warplanes in the sky to the filthy water draining from dilapidated areas of Mosul.
Christian refugees who managed to escape the terror in Mosul told CNN their homes and their people have been ravaged, leaving no home to return to.
“When we left it was all over for us,” Anne Danyale shared. “We lost our homes, our memories…everything. We even lost our jobs, which we had worked hard for all our lives…I don’t think we’ll ever go back. It’s too hard.”
After fleeing the only home they ever knew, Danyale shared even if she had an opportunity to return to Mosul, she would rather start fresh in Australia, her soon-to-be new home country.
“I do not want my children to live through the same experience again,” she said. “We paid the price and I don’t want to go back in a few years and go through it again.
“There is constant violence in Iraq. It’s never quiet. We had a much better life before the fall of the regime.”
Before ISIS appeared, Christians were kidnapped, churches were bombed, some were killed and many were made homeless. When the terrorists arrived, Christians knew they had to get out.
“They are trying to wipe out all our history,” Danyale said. “It’s why they forced us out. But they don’t know that in our hearts we will remain Iraqis, and our grandchildren will always say they are from Mosul.”
Father Khalil Jaar, who has spent the last two years helping refugees flee Iraq and Syria, said: “There is no hope for [Christians] in Iraq. We have a big new arrival almost every week. We have families arriving from Mosul, Erbil and Baghdad.
“…Perhaps Christianity will disappear from the Middle East,” he admitted. “As a priest, I am not afraid because for the Christians, the believers, this is a holy land.
“We don’t have a temple, our churches have been destroyed, but it doesn’t matter — our heart is the temple of the Lord and so wherever we go, we have to live our faith.”
While refugees seek help in other countries, women and children near Mosul are fleeing in droves as Iraqi forces clear Mosul and its surrounding villages.
ISIS is losing the war but the destruction required to destroy them has left the sky black with smoke and the ground littered with debris, garbage and bodies.
There have been 32 air strikes in the area this week, destroying 136 ISIS fighting positions, 18 tunnels and 26 car bombs.
Bartalla, a Christian town 10 miles east of Mosul has been taken from ISIS clutches and Qaraqosh, formerly the largest Christian town in all of Iraq, is currently engaged in battle.
In Bartella, Daily Mail reported every Christian church was strewn with graffiti, a statue of the Virgin Mary was destroyed, piles of Bibles were burned and a statue of Christ was beheaded.
The destruction reveals the hatred ISIS has for Christians, a hatred Danyale is all too familiar with.
Danyale lights a candle at the shrine of the Virgin Mary every day from the safety of Jordan.
“They say ours is a religion of forgiveness, but I will never forgive them,” she said of the terrorist group.
“What we witnessed and what we left behind…how they drove us out. I will never forgive them…I pray that God punishes them for what they did to us.”
By Kenya Sinclair