Tag Archive | Irbil

Pure and Undefiled Religion

Refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan.  (Photo:  Kurdistanonline via Rudaw.net)

Refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan. (Photo: Kurdistanonline via Rudaw.net)

The Apostle James admonishes us as people of faith to take action on that faith.  His strongest admonition comes in the first part of his letter to the Twelve Tribes scattered abroad:

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.  Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  (James 1:26-27 NASB)

The real question is this:  How many orphans and widows have you visited today?

The very real needs of this world stare us in the face every day.  Sometimes those needs walk right up to your car at an intersection and ask for money.  Sometimes those needs are half a world away, but still very close to the heart of God.  Here is one of them.  Her name is Myriam.

In many ways Myriam is one of the fortunate ones.  In August 2014, when the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forced her Christian family to leave their home in Qaraqoush, Iraq, they fled to Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.  Now she lives with her parents and sister in a mall that has been converted into a refugee camp.  The good news is that they escaped with their lives.  The bad news is that many did not, and those who did saw things that no one should ever have to see.  Many thousands are still held in the grip of violent Islamist terrorists, faced daily with harsh choices that involve death or something worse.

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