The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked that today, Sunday, August 17, be marked as a day of special prayer for peace in Iraq. It’s the least we can do for all those suffering religious persecution – Yazidis, Christians, and Muslims – in Iraq.
The above video comes from an article in The Daily Mail that appears to be legit. More reality TV that we should be watching. The article details the treatment of women captured by the Islamic State, including:
- A doctor conducts virginity tests to ensure women are ‘pure’ enough for the jihadists.
- IS leaders have sanctioned ‘Jihad al Niqah’, an extreme form of sexual holy war that permits fighters to take any women they want.
- Seized women are being handed as gifts to IS fighters, starved into submission and sold off as slaves, while children are stolen to be raised as Muslims and scores of men face conversion or death.
- IS guards warning captives they will get four chances to convert. Twice they will be asked politely; the third time they will be whipped with a leather strap; if they still refuse at the fourth time of asking, they face death.
- An official with IS’s religious guards confirmed the atrocities.
The husband of another teenage woman, heavily pregnant, held captive by the IS told me how she would rather the US bombed her prison – with her inside – than be handed out like a piece of property to an extremist fighter.
She said: ‘Let those jets come to bomb us and save us from this situation by killing all of us.’ She added death would be a better fate than to ‘be forced off with a strange man.’
Even though the headlines seem more subdued or diminished, there are additional reports confirming mass killings in Iraq and Syria, like this one from the BBC.
Fellow Patheos blogger Frank Weathers has a good piece summarizing where we’re at. (It was his piece that alerted me to the USCCB press release about today’s prayer effort.)
Meanwhile, today’s a special day of prayer. Remember, everything good that we do can be a prayer. As we enjoy our blessings, we can offer them for those who are suffering immensely. And, do watch the video above.