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Iraq: Christine released from Islamic State after three years!

09 June 2017

Almost three years after being snatched from her mother by so-called Islamic State (IS) militants, Christine, who was 3 when she was abducted, has been reunited with her family!

Open Doors contacts are saying she was released by the Iraqi Special Forces. She was reunited with her parents at around 10am today (9 June).

A Christian woman who is also living in Ashti camp in Erbil, where Christine's family have been living, says, "I just came back from welcoming her back to the caravan of her parents. It is was a very happy moment, everybody is dancing and clapping and singing."

When asked about the little girl, she says, "Although everybody was very happy of course, it was also sad to see that Christine herself is in shock about all the people around her. Everybody is asking questions and speaking to her, but she does not say anything back really. She also seems to be overwhelmed by the huge crowd of people welcoming her.

"She looks okay, and looks quite healthy. I believe she must have been in the house of a family who took good care. She even was wearing gold rings in her ear, so it must have been a wealthy family."

Christine was taken from her family as they were forced out of their home in Qaraqosh by IS. Open Doors partners have been supporting her family with food and hygiene kits, thanks to your support.

Christine will turn 6 on 18 July.

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Open Doors has launched the Hope for the Middle East campaign, mobilising the church around the world to pray, give and speak out for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, such as Christine and her family.

Here are three ways you can stand with your church family:

Please pray:

  • Praise God that Christine has been reunited with her family!
  • For healing for Christine, as she begins to recover from her time in captivity
  • That many more families in the Middle East would be reunited
  • For provision and wisdom for Open Doors partners as they work to support families like Christine's.

More News from Iraq:

Find out more about persecution in Iraq.