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Holistic Relief to the Refugees in Northern Iraq


In July 2014, ISIS attacked the Christian towns and villages in Nineveh region forcing them to leave everything behind. All the villages of Nineveh valley of Iraq became rapidly empty as no one dared to stay. All the Iraqi Christians were forced to quickly leave the land of their ancestors without being able to take anything with them. They were given a 48 hour ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay the gizya (high tax per person) or leave.

More than 350,000 Christians were dislocated and up-rooted from their homes. They are now scattered in Northern Iraq. Tens of thousands of them live in camps packed with caravans that consist of one room and a small bathroom. These were prepared for the refugees to cover their basic needs. Others are staying in several large warehouses and abandoned buildings – which are not in service anymore – where every four families are sharing one bathroom.

Even though Nineveh region was liberated from ISIS few months ago, the Christians were not able to return to their homes as %78 of the town’s houses and infrastructure was either totally destroyed or burned.

Many of them were depressed as the basic reparation of their houses and the development of the infrastructure of their towns and villages will take a long time before they are able to return home.

The situation of Iraqi refugees touched our hearts and we felt the great need that is existing among them in the Kurdish territories of Northern Iraq. LHM Lebanon director traveled there to provide humanitarian aid to cover a small part of the refugees’ needs, but more importantly to show the love and care of Lutheran Hour Ministry to them. We brought for these needy refugees more than 300 packages of food with children coloring Bible books and detergents. We spent three days in different locations in Northern Iraq focusing on the neediest and neglected camps.