When you think of Ninevah, no doubt you’re reminded of the story of God’s call to Jonah to preach to the people there, urging them to repent of their grievous sin.
The Worldview spoke with Max Wood, Chairman of the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.
WOOD: “On August 6, 2014, the ISIS armies rolled through the Nineveh Province area of Iraq, which had traditionally been the highest concentration of Christians of any province in Iraq. They destroyed everything. They destroyed homes, businesses. They murdered people; they assaulted women. Over 100,000 people fled that violence.”
Wood explained what motivated ISIS to commit such violence.
WOOD: “The ISIS group was hoping to establish a pure, radical Islamic caliphate. Any person, be they Christian or even Muslim that did not agree with their view of Islam, was in the way. They murdered them or gave them an opportunity to leave. They gave some the opportunity to convert. But ISIS’ goal, and for three years they came close to accomplishing that, was to establish a radical, Sunni Islamic caliphate that they felt would eventually rule the world. Fortunately, after three years, the western forces were able to stop ISIS and kill their leader, and bring a halt to the excessive violence.”
Wood defined a caliphate.
WOOD: “A Caliphate is an Islamic term for an empire. The Caliph is the ruler and a caliphate is the Islamic theocracy, empire, or kingdom. There was a caliphate 2,000 years ago or so in the Middle East. They hoped to return to those glory days when Islam ruled all of the Middle East, parts of Europe, and parts of Asia. A caliphate ruling the world is something that the Quran commands in some of its verses. Many Muslims interpret this to mean that they are authorized to violently overthrow governments in place, violently eliminate religious groups that don’t share their views. Groups like ISIS want to see the whole world worship Allah.”
When ISIS attacked the Christians in Iraq’s Ninevah Province seven years ago, the believers escaped to Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and Kurdistan. For seven years, the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East invests $21,000 per month to sustain the 8,000 Christian refugees in Jordan.
WOOD: “Our foundation helps these refugees with food coupons that they can use in Jordanian Christian stores to provide food to them. We help them with medical expenses. We help their children get education in Christian Schools in Jordan. We help them in some cases with housing needs. And the Olive Tree Center gives him a chance to come and gather as Iraqis and partake in various programs that we offer including counseling sessions, music therapy, art classes, cooking classes.”
If you’d like to help provide food, medicine, shelter, and counseling for these Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan, you can give through a special link in our transcript today at www.TheWorldview.com.
Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
WOOD: “On August 6 of this year, they held a celebration of sorts, celebrating that they have survived this trauma and that they still have their faith in Jesus Christ.”