When Rev. Franklin Graham toured Iraq over Easter weekend, he found the devastating toll inflicted on Iraqi Christians by the foreign policy of former President Barack Obama.
“Yesterday we went to the city of Qaraqosh, in Iraq, which used to be home to some 50,000 Christians who were forced to flee for their lives in 2014. Now just a handful, about seven families, remain,” Graham posted in his Easter Sunday entry on his Facebook page.
“I visited a church that had been burned and destroyed by ISIS, and met with the pastor. Incredibly, in the ashes and debris, we discovered one of our Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes that had been given to a child there at some point. I couldn’t help but wonder where the child who received this box is today,” he added.
Graham urged those who have so much to remember those who have next to nothing.
“My heart goes out to the pastors in this region. Most of their congregations are now dispersed all over the world. As shepherds they want to be able to help their flocks. They want to be able to care for them and protect them, but until there’s a political settlement there’s no way this is going to happen. Will you join me in praying for them?” he wrote.
But in keeping with his faith, even in the despair of an ISIS-ravaged village, Graham found, and shared, hope.
“We also found charred pages from a Bible. I picked up a section that contained John 20:27: ‘Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ He’s still saying that to the world today — this Easter Sunday — Believe!” Graham wrote.
Graham later posted that he worshiped on Sunday in the Iraqi town of Erbil.
“Many members of this congregation have been persecuted. Some have had to flee their homes and towns in order to survive when ISIS took control of surrounding areas, and they haven’t been able to return. In spite of the tremendous difficulties, they have hope in Jesus Christ,” he wrote.
Graham was joined on his trip by Greta Van Susteren, the former Fox News host who now works for MSNBC.
During Monday’s For The Record broadcast, she spoke about what she saw in Mosul.
“ISIS has slaughtered so many innocent people in and around the Mosul area, which used to have many Christian villages, some as large as 50,000. They’re now ghost towns,” she said.
“ISIS killed or threatened the Christians for being Christians, and those who survived fled while ISIS seized their homes and looted everything inside, including copper wiring in houses to make [improvised explosive devices to maim and kill,” she added.