One Allah Akbar flag removed, another raised over church: This photo of the Iraqi national flag being raised over a church in the Christian town of Bartella, Iraq when the town was liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) in October appeared in newspapers and major Internet news sites all over the world.
Many news agencies featured the photo at right and it appeared in many TV news reports as well. What is not reported is the symbolism of the Iraqi flag being raised over a church in Bartella, Iraq instead of over the town government center. Why was the church chosen to display the flag? To show that Allah is still master over the Iraqi government just as over ISIS.
Allah Akbar is still Allah Akbar. The Arabic text in the center of the Iraqi flag says “Allah Akbar.” The Islamic State (ISIS) flag that was removed said “Allah Akbar”
When the United States toppled Saddam Hussein, the new government which was installed received no guidelines to write a new constitution. As a result, Sharia was made the supreme law, just like in Iran. The Iraqi constitutions states in Article 2, “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.” The same article establishes Islam as the “official religion.” There are no real guarantees of freedom of religion for Christians.
Christians face greater oppression today than under Saddam Hussain. This is why Christians fled from Baghdad north to the Nineveh Plain and Kurdish areas. It is in these areas that our Diapers for Refugees and Christmas for Refugees program is operating. We are currently in the process of planning ways to expand our Christmas for Refugees program to incorporate other towns, including Bartella, that have recently been liberated from the Islamic State’s control.
First results for matching challenge Christmas program: After the current Chairman’s Report was printed, very encouraging donations were received to help meet the Christmas matching challenge. Remember: All gifts to Christmas for Refugees received by December 1st will be doubled, up to $55,400. That means if we reach that threshold the donations will be doubled to $110,800. What a blessing that would be to the children at Christmas.
Please pray for the Christmas program this year and the safety of the children. We charter only large safe, buses, the type you would ride on when taking a tour. The safety of the children is always my number one concern.
Large gatherings of Christians in one place in any majority Muslim nation can be problematic. The Kurds in northern Iraq are friendly now, but they assisted in the Ottoman Empire’s mass murder of Christians as recently as 1915. Islam is Islam.