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Forgive us, as we Forgive: Visiting Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq

Kathryn Kraft on a tough call: forgiving the enemies in the context of the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

The Institute of Middle East Studies

by Kathryn Kraft

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

The challenge in the words of this prayer have taken on a new weight for me after spending some time in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), getting to know Christians who are taking refuge from the so-called Islamic State, or Da’ish.

According to the International Organization for Migration, close to 1 million people fled the city of Mosul and the surrounding Nineveh Plain region during the summer of 2014, when Da’ish took control there. They didn’t flee the violence. Mosul has seen more than its fair share of conflict during the past decade, but many people chose to stay in their homes even when surrounded by fighting and instability.

This time was different. A million people fled, because they simply could not stay. Almost…

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