Forgiveness: How Iraqi Christians Respond to Isis

From the relative safety of America and the comfort of our homes, many are discussing the best response for Christians and the good people of the world, to the evil regime of Isis, as it continues marching down the deadly path they believe the Koran prophesies.  Perhaps the best response to Isis is much closer to them than we think: from their victims.

Everyone is aware that Isis has executed countless Christians and innocent people, but few are fully aware of the vast number who have been displaced from their homes, stripped of everything they own, and left to seek refuge anywhere they could. Such is the story of Miriam, a young Iraqi girl who is now seeking refuge with other Christians in an unfinished mall.  A reporter asked the girl what she would do to Isis if she could retaliate. She responded she would do nothing. Rather she would pray for them and ask that God would forgive them for what they did. Stunned, the reported pressed further, asking if Miriam herself could also forgive the men who cost her everything. She responded with a simple, but sincere ” yes.”[1]

Miriam is not alone in her desire to trust God and forgive her persecutors.  While other children interviewed said that they missed school and church, they confidently declared that “Jesus will be with us no matter where we go”. They sing of their love for the Savior and seek to obey His radical call to love and forgive, knowing He will keep them safe.[2]

The incredible faith of these Iraqi Christian children teaches many profound truths: that mercy triumphs, that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His will, and that God’s best for us is always obedience. Western believers need to remember these truths, and, as we seek justice and defense of innocent life, we must honor Christ’s commandment to love our enemies.


[1] Hallowell, Billy. “A Reporter Asked Christian Iraqi Child How She’d Retaliate Against the Islamic State — and Here’s Her Stunning Response.” The Blaze. . 02/20/15.

[2] Smith, Samuel. “Displaced Iraqi Christian Girl Who Fled Home to Escape Death at the Hands of ISIS Asks God to ‘Forgive’ Islamic Terrorists.” The Christian Post. 02/19/15.