To highlight the worsening situation in Iraq where where Christians and Muslims are being killed by ISIS forces and to draw especially attention to the plight of Christians in Mosul, Iraq's second biggest city, where families have been forced to flee and faced execution by Salaafi militants, the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu has issued these three prayers:
in this city where Christians and Muslims have lived together for over 1400 years,
we pray for healing, peace and restoration.
Bring light out of this present darkness and hope from despair that guided by your Holy Spirit,
all your children may find a new way forward together based on your love for us all. Amen.
your Holy family was driven into exile and many holy innocent boys were massacred,
we hold before you today the suffering people of Mosul. Amen.
Hold in your loving arms, all those who have been caught up in this conflict.
We pray for those forced to flee their homes,
all who have lost friends, family and possessions and who now face an uncertain future.
Bless our Christian brothers and sisters
who have seen the destruction of their churches and communities
and for our Muslim neighbours
who have also experienced destruction and suffering. Amen.
ISIS militants are marking Christian homes with the letter N, in Arabic ن which means “Nazarean”, so they pay punitive taxes and, like the Nazi 'jude' label mark them out for attack and potential death. Please adopt this image and use it wherever you can to raise awareness of the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq.