ERBIL, Iraq--This past weekend I met with Ankawa Evangelical Church Pastor Ghassan Yalda who told me he is saddened when Iraqi Christians talk about leaving the country for America or elsewhere in the West.
“Christians are salt and light. If everyone leaves, who will be speaking the truth to the people who need us? Sin is everywhere, people are killing each other. “
Who will be left to ask God to pour out his mercy on Iraq?
But every displaced Christian I’ve met here has told me they want to leave. They say they can no longer live with Muslims when a percentage of them are trying to exterminate anyone who does not believe the way they do.
Yalda also told me he appreciates the partnership CBN Disaster Relief has made with his church to help displaced Christians and others. Each day church volunteers provide food and other necessities for 60-80 families. CBN has stood alongside them.
The daily demands on Yalda’s church body are overwhelming. Just two months ago their main effort was conducting a weekly church service and doing outreach work with Syrian refugees. Now, in addition to the daily outreach efforts, 100 Christian refugees reside at the church in Sunday school classrooms.
Pastor Yalda asks us to pray for more volunteers to come to Iraq to help and encourage the people here.
“We need each other,” the pastor told me. “And our country cannot be saved by military action. It can only be saved by Jesus Christ.”
Watch my full interview with Pastor Ghassan Yalda by clicking on the video here: