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URGENT email from Iraq asks Christians to pray for ISIS victims in Queragosh -- but is it a hoax?
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An email was forwarded to the editorial staff of Catholic Online, requesting urgent prayers for the people of Queragosh, who were being slaughtered by terrorists from the Islamic State. In investigating the matter, the editorial team quickly established the email is a chain, however the cause is still worthy of prayer.
Christians in Iraq are subject to intense persecution and hardship. They remain at risk and in need of emergency aid.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The editorial staff of Catholic Online was forwarded an email with an urgent prayer request, seeking prayers for the Christian population of Queragosh. Queragosh is situated in northern Iran and is a large and ancient Christian enclave that dates back to the time of the Apostles.
Despite having resided there for over 1,900 years, the Christians population was subject to terrorization by the Islamic State. Many people were forcefully displaced, becoming refugees. Others were subject to rape, torture, and even execution, just for their faith. Many martyrs were created in Queragosh, including children who are thought to have been beheaded.
Act now to save Christians in need!
That the cause is worthy of prayer is beyond question. As Christians we have an obligation to pray and act to do what we can to alleviate the extreme suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters.
Unfortunately, the editorial team has determined that the email which is making the rounds is a chain email. There are several indicators. For one, the editors promptly pointed out that Queragosh fell in early August making the events described therein about two months old.
In addition, the email contains several admonishments, claiming to be "urgent" and asking that people forward the email and not to ignore it. Fortunately, as chain emails go, this one has some substance. It simply asks people to pray and serves as a reminder of the extreme situation that Christians face in Iraq and Syria.
It is unclear who in fact wrote the email as the original offer is never cited.
Finally, the email refers to "Crisis Relief International," a fictional organization, or at least one that does not appear to have an online presence. It is obvious that the email is fictitious and authorship suspect.
Despite this, a decision has been made to go ahead and share a selection featuring the majority of the text of the email with the caveat that this is a chain email, containing unverifiable information.
And the original request remains valid! We must pray for our Christian brothers and sisters. We must also go one step further. Once we pray, we must act. Pope Francis has explained that all Catholics have an obligation to participate in a sustained campaign of 'Prayer and Action' to help others.
The text of the email is below. Read it if you wish, share this article if you feel so moved. However, whatever you do, be sure to ACT! Only through sustained prayer and action will we overcome all evils.
Let us pray.
I have received these two emails from our missionary friends, one yesterday and one this morning. I just wanted to pass it on so that as many people as possible can pray specifically for our brothers and sisters. Much love and blessings This is so sad... A friend just got a text message from her brother asking her to shower him and his parish in prayer. He is part of a mission and ISIS has taken over the town they are in today. He said ISIS is systematically going house to house to all the Christians and asking the children to denounce Jesus. He said so far not one child has. And so far all have consequently been killed. But not the parents. The UN has withdrawn and the missionaries are on their own.
They are determined to stick it out for the sake of the families - even if it means their own deaths. He is very afraid, has no idea how to even begin ministering to these families who have seen their children martyred. Yet he says he knows God has called him for some reason to be his voice and hands at this place at this time. Even so, he is begging prayers for his courage to live out his vocation in such dire circumstances. And like the children accept martyrdom if he is called to do so. She asked me to ask everyone we know to please pray for them. These brave parents instilled such a fervent faith in their children that they chose martyrdom. Please surround them in their loss with your prayers for hope and perseverance.
She was able to talk to her brother briefly by phone. She didn't say it but I believe she believes it will be their last conversation. Pray for her too. She said he just kept asking her to help him know what to do and do it. She told him to tell the families we ARE praying for them and they are not alone or forgotten -- no matter what. Her e mail broke my heart. Please keep all in your prayers. Thanks This came this morning... Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI).
We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts. "We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading
children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food too. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated it's staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!"
Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region.
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