Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, in his first White House Meeting with President Donald J. Trump, said, "The United States ....helped Iraq enormously in defeating ISIS and also in toppling the Saddam Hussein regime."
Brave Americans totaling 4,888 gave their lives for the liberation of Iraq and the 25 million Iraqi people from the terror of Saddam Hussein. More than 32,000 were seriously injured and 2.5 million—1 for every 10 Iraqis—served in Iraq, from building schools to repairing roads to rebuilding its infrastructure and more.
Most people are unaware that Iraq was formerly Assyria, the first nation to accept Christ, which went on to become the largest missionary-sending people in history, bringing the gospel first to Europe, Asia and much of the world.
Most of us owe our very faith to this special band of people, the descendants of the great Assyrian Empire that before the liberation of Iraq made up 10% of the country's population and as the indigenous, original people of the country, were much loved.
Following the liberation of Iraq, the initial great freedom gave way to attack, primarily from neighboring Iran who, in the vacuum created by the sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces in 2011, gave birth to another enemy—ISIS—and these precious people now fell under attack by two forces at once.
Finally liberated from ISIS, the long-suffering Assyrian Christians of Iraq, now greatly diminished to less than half of their previous numbers, are finally coming back, encouraged by the promise of the Assyrian Administrative Area—a restoration of the Assyrian nation, albeit under special provisions of the Iraqi Constitution.
For the Assyrian Christians of Iraq, there is one guarantee that is more important than any meeting with the prime minister of Iraq and the president of the United State: the promise in Isaiah 19:23a-24 that reads, "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria ... In that day Israel shall be the third group with Egypt and Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the earth." This is the promise to every Assyrian, without a nation for a thousand years, that their nation will one day be restored.
Just like the miraculous restoration of the state of Israel in 1948, the restoration of the nation of Assyria is on its way, following promises from the prime minister, foreign minister and president of Iraq that according to the Iraqi Constitution, just like the area of Kurdistan, the Assyrian Administrative Area will become a reality.
For the nearly 6 million Assyrian Christians, scattered throughout the world, the impossible dream, like that of the Jews in 1947, is slowly but surely coming to be. And the recent meeting of the prime minister of Iraq with President Donald J. Trump, culminating with a note of encouragement from the prime minister, who said, "We are working on building a strong relationship that is based on joint interests between Iraq and the United States, that is based on economic interest for the better future of the Iraqi people and the United States people," helps confirm the good news.
The Assyrian Christian people worldwide are praying that the Assyrian Administrative Area will soon be a reality where they will be able to govern themselves, pray as they wish, teach their language—Aramaic—the language the Bible was written in and still spoken, and once again assume their place at the table of the international community and in particular the community of faith.
As bestselling author of God, Trump and COVD-19 Stephen Strang says, "all they respect in the Middle East is strength, not weakness" as a call goes out to the church worldwide to support the final restoration of the Assyrian Christian people to their own homeland. This precious people who blessed all of the world await their own blessing in the finalizing of their area and begin to stream back home, as the Jews did to Israel in 1948.
Amir George is the author of Liberating Iraq and directs The World Helpline at theworldhelpline.org.
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