Halla Picture by Andrew Boyd e1565015455625

‘Leave now! ISIS fighters are on the way…’

Halla, forced to flee by ISIS fighters. Picture by Andrew Boyd
Halla, forced to flee by ISIS fighters. Picture by Andrew Boyd

Release International is working with Christians who have been forced to flee for their lives in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Halla is one.

Halla lived in the Iraqi city of Mosul – and ISIS fighters were on their way. Their reputation went before them.

Halla and her mother knew they had to leave.

Broken heart

But it was all too much for Halla’s mother. She died of a broken heart soon afterwards.

And Halla’s ordeal was far from over.

She had taken refuge in the Christian town of Qaraqosh, on the Plains of Nineveh. But having seized Mosul, ISIS wanted that, too.

‘I was afraid ISIS would treat us like the Yazidis,’ Halla said, ‘kidnapping, raping and murdering young women.’

Then someone warned her, ‘You have to leave now!’

Message from Jesus

‘It was like a message from Jesus,’ Halla told Release.

‘I was scared and alone, but I left. Three days later, ISIS came. Thank God, His hand was on me.’

Now Halla was on the move again, to Erbil in northern Iraq, where Release International is working with its partner to help the displaced. They helped Halla, too.

‘The Christians here gave us everything,’ she said. ‘And Release partners have helped with that.’

Somehow, Halla has found the grace to forgive those whose actions led to the death of her mother. ‘I forgive those who persecuted me,’ she said. ‘I pray God will open their minds and lead them in His path.’


Halla features in a new Release International video: Halla’s Story. You can watch it here

Release has launched an appeal to help Christians forced to flee by persecution or war to begin their lives again in a place of safety.

‘Our partners continue to support Christians who have taken refuge in northern Iraq. Together we can make a huge difference to those who have been forced to flee because of their love for Jesus Christ,’ says Release CEO Paul Robinson.

To find out more and make a gift to help Christians like Halla, please click here