Iraq (CAM) — In Iraq’s northern areas, where Islamic State (ISIS) militants have extended their brutal campaign to establish a caliphate, coveted copies of the Bible are playing a key role in the lives of displaced people from a myriad of religious backgrounds. Supply is limited (some Bibles are available locally while others need to be shipped in), but the demand appears to be endless, especially among refugees and internally displaced people. “Every time we try to open a box or container to distribute Bibles, we get ‘attacked’ by people in their eagerness to get a copy,” the director of a locally-based ministry said. “We have never had a problem giving them away.” Nominal members of historic churches are seeking the Bible, as are Yazidis and Sunni and Shia Muslims. Yazidis practice a blend of Christian, Islamic, and Zoroastrian rituals.
“The religious nature of the region makes faith matters of great interest and an important part of their lives, and the search for the truth has become one of the priorities of the Muslims,” he said, adding that ISIS militants’ religiously motivated murders of civilians have provided a golden opportunity to present the “loving and peaceful Christ.”
The native ministry, which Christian Aid Mission assists, provides Bibles along with material aid such as food and blankets. While meeting their immediate needs is crucial, the knowledge of God found in the Bible provides refugees a more enduring benefit, said Christian Aid Mission’s Middle East director.
“The Bible is the preacher who can reach people, stay with them at home, and talk to them every day about Jesus, which is something we cannot always do due to lack of preachers,” he said. “We don’t have so many in the area, and the nature of the ministry among thousands makes the Bible the #1 tool for salvation of people.”“Muslims come with a worldview that is full of fear, and the message of a God who gives Himself for you and cares for you as a child of God is new to them,” he said. “It gives them great hope, and as people who have lost everything, this hope is a thousand times more meaningful to them.” https://www.mnnonline.org/news/isis-attacks-create-hunger-scripture/