In an interview with Russian Today, Sarmad Ozan, a 25-year-old former deacon of a church in Mosul, Iraq, explained that the British Home Office
denied him asylum and wanted to send him back to Iraq, where he believes he will die because he is a Christian.
Ozan left Mosul in June 2014 when ISIS took control of the city. He calls the violence in the Middle East a “slow-motion genocide” being committed against Christians in Iraq every day:
“They are killing them day after day, 10 people in one day. Or maybe they will bomb a church. From 2003 until 2014 they used to bomb churches inside Mosul. They killed bishops and priests inside Mosul and even Baghdad and everywhere in Iraq. And the government cannot do anything for them.”
“The situation there is unsafe and unstable. Even the Home Office admit that it is unstable inside Iraq and don’t advise anyone to travel to Iraq, but they want us to go back.”
Although Ozan was denied asylum, he is appealing because “it’s impossible to go back to a place with nothing. Our house is taken by ISIS. Everything taken by ISIS. Even our neighbors are now supporting ISIS… It’s like someone going back to die. That means if they want to send me back, they want to kill me.”
Ozan described life in Mosul after the ISIS takeover. When ISIS first gained control in June, they didn’t kill anyone and they announced they only had an issue with the government. Christian families who orginially fled returned back to Mosul.
[su_button url=”http://diapersforrefugees.org/helping-christian-refugees/”]Babies of Iraqi Christian refugees fleeing the Islamic State need diapers – Please help![/su_button]
However, in July, “they announced in the mosque three options for the Christians inside Mosul. They say you should convert to Islam, or pay jizya, that’s like a heavy tax, or be killed after this 24 hours. So every Christian family left Mosul that day… They made checkpoints at the borders of Mosul where they checked identity cards, because your religion is on your identity card.
“So whenever they see a Christian they grab everyone from the car and they take everything. So we left with nothing. We walked all that day towards Erbil. All the Christian families were walking that day. We arrived at night. Young people slept on the pavements, some people in tents, the church halls. We stayed in different places. Then we found a place in a church hall.”
Christian Today reported: “Ozan is unable to apply for asylum in Iraq’s neighbouring Arab countries, but in 2015 he graduated with an engineering degree. He was then given a state bursary to study a masters in the UK. But after he arrived in Britain, violence spread across Iraq and his government scholarship money stopped, leaving him stranded. Feeling unable to return to the risk of death in Iraq, he applied for asylum.”
Religious Freedom Coalition sponsors two programs to help Christian refugee families that escaped this persecution in Mosul, Diapers for Refugees and Christmas for Refugees. The Diapers for Refugees program which aims to send high quality disposable diapers to these Christian refugee families located in camps around Erbil. Families in these camps are dying from diaper rash because of the inability to wash cloth diapers with soap and clean water. Due to the lack of diapers, mothers are forced to use donated clothing as diapers for their children, which still can’t be cleaned properly.
With help from our donors, the Diapers for Refugees program gave nearly 300 families enough diapers to last for three months, totaling 160,000 diapers in the first shipment which took place in March 2016. In June of 2016, 160,000 more diapers were sent and distributed to families in the refugee camps located in Erbil. Our commitment for the remainder of 2016 is to provide these Christian refugee camps with diapers every three months, totaling 640,000 disposable diapers given to displaced Christian families.
The price of a single shipment of diapers ranges from $18,000 to $20,000 or 11 cents per diaper. These shipments are distributed by large truckloads to Christian refugee camps across Northern Iraq. Next month, our third shipment of diapers will be sent out to 5 different camps near Ankawa, but in order to do this we still need to raise $8,000.
Every day Christians living in the Middle East are targeted for their faith. The Islamic State has declared war on Christianity too many times to count. Christianity is under attack and thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters are dying because of it. These Christian refugees need our continued prayers and support. Learn how you can help.
The Christmas for Refugees program helps displaced Christians from Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon that are being ignored by Islamic run charities.
In 2013, 2014, Christmas events that included hot meals were served to Christian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon. In 2015 the program was expanded to Christian IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) in Iraq who fled the Islamic State as the city of Mosul and Christians villages nearby were overrun. Much of the Nineveh Plain was also stolen from Christian families who fled to the Kurdish areas in the northeast. In 2016 the number of children served will be increased.
Christmas for Refugees is much more than one hot meal at Christmas. The many hours long program includes a warm place to stay for a day with Gospel themed plays and puppet shows along with games and traditional Christmas songs.
Gospel themed coloring books and work books are supplied to the children and in some cases Arabic language picture Bibles. Each child takes home a gift box for themselves and their family.
The gift box for each child’s family varies by area, even within the same nation. The family gift is a box of essential items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, tissues, sponges, feminine hygiene items as well as dish and laundry soaps. Learn how you can help.