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Iraq: Christian woman released after three years in captivity
30 August 2017
Three years after being captured by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), Rana Esso (pictured), a Christian woman, has been released!
She returned home to her family in Qaraqosh on Monday 28 August. She was liberated in the suburbs of Tal Afar in north west Iraq.
Video footage on social media show Rana's return being celebrated by a cheering crowd, with local music and dance of Christians in Qaraqosh. A local contact of Open Doors says, "All Qaraqosh people were celebrating her release!"
Three Yazidi women were also released with Rana, though very little information is known about them currently. The Yazidi population, an independent religious minority in Iraq, suffered severely under the reign of IS in this region of Iraq.
The release of Rana and Yazidi women follows a week of intense fighting in and around Tal Afar, which is seen as one of the last remaining strongholds in Iraq.
- Praise God for the release of these four women
- For their healing, physically and emotionally, following this traumatic experience
- For freedom for those who remain in IS captivity
- For peace in Iraq and restoration for the Iraqi people.
BRING HOPE TO THE MIDDLE EAST
While the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) have largely been driven out of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain in Iraq, they have left terrible devastation behind them. In Syria, the war rages on, and Christians continue to be a target for Islamic extremists.
Incredibly, there are Christians who are choosing to stay in the Middle East, the birth place of Christianity, because they believe that God has called them to shine as lights in the darkest of days. They have a vision to rebuild their homes and communities.
But this won't happen overnight. This is why the global Hope for the Middle East campaign is a seven-year campaign. Your support is keeping hope alive for thousands of families in Iraq and Syria, and we must continue to walk with them for as long as they need us. Alongside prayer, here are three things you can do to support your persecuted brothers and sisters:
- Give. Every £25 could go towards rebuilding a home or setting up a family in employment in Iraq.
- Speak out. Sign the One Million Voices of Hope petition, calling for equality, dignity and responsibility for Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria. Ask others to sign it too.
- Tell your church. Order a free Rebuild Hope pack, full of ideas and resources to help everyone in your church, of whatever age, to connect with their church family in the Middle East.
More News from Iraq:
- Christian children return home to Karamles
- Church leader optimistic despite upcoming referendum
- Rebuilding Hope in Karamles
- Fear of 'Kurdish conspiracy' as Christian mayor dismissed
- 'Small window to act' to restore Christianity in Middle East
Find out more about persecution in Iraq.