Impact Iraq | 17-10-2023

God never abandoned Farah – and Farah will never abandon Iraq


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Farah and Janan couldn’t wait to return to Nineveh Plains, Iraq, after ISIS were driven out. But the destruction of their beloved community left them broken. Your support meant everything. Farah has seen her house and her business restored. But believers remain fearful of persecution. Please continue to pray for peace and strength so that the church in Iraq can stay strong in Christ.

Farah stood in the wreckage of her once-beautiful home. Slogans of ISIS, the Islamic extremist group, were sprayed on the walls. Across the road, her hairdressing salon had been looted and destroyed.

“I had an eagerness to return to my homeland and memories there,” said Farah, now 33. “But when we saw what our village had become, there was heartache. It was a wrecked and burned place.”

It had been three years since Farah, her husband Janan and their toddler Gaith had walked out of their home in Nineveh Plains with just the clothes on their backs. ISIS had arrived – and Christians like Farah were being persecuted. “We thought we’d be back in two days,” recalls Farah. “It took years.”

So in 2017, shortly after their village had been liberated, Farah and her family were back. But how do you start again when your home is trashed and your workplace ruined?

The answer: with your support.

Between 2017 and 2022, your gifts helped to rebuild more than 2,000 houses in the Nineveh Plains region, allowing thousands of persecuted Christian families like Farah’s to return home. And Farah was one of the 300 people to receive a micro-loan of up to $5,000, thanks to your support. The loans are paid back over the following years, and the last 20% is a gift to the recipient.

Farah used her loan to buy equipment for her hairdressing business and just before Christmas 2017, she re-opened the salon – to a loyal customer base. “The first client was a customer who used to come before ISIS!”


Farah wants to remain in Iraq, despite the challenges

While Farah’s village is slowly coming back to life, with people returning and more schools and shops opening, life is still difficult. The economic crisis in Iraq has made things especially difficult. Farah works long hours and Janan holds down two jobs.

But this family chose to stay because of your support and prayers.


“Without your help surely it would have been impossible to return... The words thank you are too little.”

“Iraq is my country. I was born here and I will die here,” said Farah. “You helped us, stood by us, encouraged us. Without your help surely it would have been impossible to return and go back to business. The words thank you are too little.”

“Suffering and persecution make it frightening for Christians to remain in Iraq. But we are here. I would like to ask you to pray that safety and stability would return to Iraq. That’s the dream of every Christian.”
please pray
  • For Farah, her husband and two children, that God will provide for them and help them to flourish
  • That God will continue to give wisdom and strength to Open Doors partners serving Christians in Iraq
  • That God will grant courage to His people in Iraq, so that the light of Christ will continue to shine in the darkness.
please give
  • Every HK$330 will help provide a month of medical care and support to three persecuted Christians. 
  • Every HK$580 will help train and disciple vulnerable young quarry workers, to strengthen their faith.  
  • Every HK$850 will help give financial security to a persecuted Christian family, through a small business loan.
My gift: Middle East