Release International, 10 November 2021 (excerpts)
During a four-day online speaking tour, Jamal, a Muslim- background Christian, described how his Hand of Help organisation is giving new hope to Christian refugees in northern Iraq who fled the conflict with Isis and have been given a safe haven in the region of Kurdistan. And through remarkable favour with the government, Jamal’s work has been extended to help displaced Muslims and Yazidis.
In 2003, before the upheavals of the Gulf War and Isis, there were around 1.8 million Christians in Iraq. Today there are considered to be fewer than 400,000 Christians living in Iraq.
As well as distributing relief aid, Hand of Help train seamstresses, electricians and hairdressers and teach computer skills.
Through all of this comes the message of Christ’s love. Jamal’s team uses the Gospel of Luke to teach his students keyboard skills.
The Kurdistan government has seen the remarkable work Hand of Hope is doing and is right behind it. The country’s parliament has presented the ministry with its Shield of Honour.
The government has given this openly Christian ministry access to teach at a prison and to work in camps for displaced Muslims and Yazidis.
Says Jamal: ‘This is a Muslim country and we are a Christian organisation. We clearly say we are Christian and yet they allow us to go to the camps. It’s amazing!