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Christina with her rescuers and her mother
Christina, finally reunited with her family! (Her elated mother, Ayda, is in the backseat.)
Photo: Twitter @thestevennabil

A tragic story that began three years ago now has a miraculously happy ending. You may recall hearing about Christina Abada, the three-year-old girl in Iraq who was kidnapped right out of her mother's arms by ISIS terrorists in August 2014. After three years of separation, and her family fearing the worst, Christina was reunited with her parents and siblings on June 9th. (In addition to the original report being published in a previous issue of VOM Canada's monthly publication, a subsequent prayer alert was posted as a reminder to continue praying for Christina's protection and safe return to her family.)

When young Christina had been taken, ISIS was starting its sweep of terror in Iraq, going through Mosul and Qaraqosh and targeting minorities -- mostly Christians and Yazidis. Those who didn't escape were given a choice: convert to Islam, pay a protection tax, or die. As Christina's parents were Christians in Qaraqosh, her kidnapping became a focal point worldwide for the horrific persecution Iraqi believers were facing at the hands of ISIS.

Greg Musselman, Minister at Large with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, met Christina's mother, Ayda, a few years ago in Erbil (a city located within the region of Kurdistan) and was able to hear her story: "They were preparing to leave that part of Iraq and go into Erbil, which was a safer area. Christina was in Ayda's arms when an Islamic soldier came onto the bus...and took Christina away from her mother. Ayda ran after her daughter...but was told that if she didn't get back on the bus, she would be killed right there." (Greg's videotaped interview with Ayda is included in the 15-minute documentary titled, Iraq: Escaping ISIS, which can be found on the right side of the above mentioned link.)

After Christina's kidnapping, her traumatized parents met up with the rest of their children who had already fled to Kurdistan. However, they never stopped looking for their abducted child, and a network of friends persisted in searching with them over the years. Then they received the phone call that would change everything. Christina had been found alive and well in Hayy al-Tanak, a neighborhood in Mosul, Iraq.

Greg Musselman says the newly-reunited Abada family is now integrating young Christina back into their lives. But it's going to be a process for the child, who's now nearly six years old: "The little girl, as you can imagine, is totally confused.... (Christina's) traumatized, and she's going to need counselling and help. Ministries like VOM and others will be there to help her." For now, Christina's safe return is a wondrous answer to prayer.

To review the entire Mission Network News article, reporting on this recent update, click here.

Current Ministry Project

By working with credible ministry partners, VOMC is providing persecuted Christian women sewing skills training so they can receive a sustainable source of income and thus adequately support their families. In addition, these women are able to seize the opportunities presented to them through their new businesses by serving as effective witnesses for Christ.

Project Fund: Women’s Ministry

Country Information

39,650,145 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Arab (75-80), Kurdish (15-20), Turkoman, Assyrian, and other (5)

Religion (%)
Islam (95-98), Christianity (1), other (1-4)

President Barham Salih (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system

Mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Iraq

Pray for the protection of the remaining believers in Iraq during this time of upheaval and danger. May many churches and Christian relief organizations seize the opportunity to provide greatly needed assistance and ministry to the numerous suffering people of this war-torn nation. As God’s work of healing, provision and restoration takes place, pray that a stable democratic government will be established.


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Iraq News

  • Oppression of Iraqi Believers
    Man's hands holding a gospel tract
    Those caught evangelizing could face blasphemy charges.
    Photo: VOMC

    A recent report from the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East highlights the desperate circumstances facing many Iraqi Christians – both those residing in their country as well as those living as refu

  • Aid Workers Released
    Devastation from the war
    Some of the devastation
    from the conflict in Iraq.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    On January 20th, four humanitarian aid workers from the French organization, SOS Chretiens d'Orient, went missing while in Baghdad. Details were limited, providing no information on those responsible nor the reasons behind

  • Four Foreign Aid Workers Missing
    Devastation in Iraq
    Some of the devastation from the conflict in Iraq.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    On January 20th, four workers affiliated with the French organization, SOS Chretiens d'Orient, went missing while in Baghdad. Despite repeated attempts to contact them, no response has been received to date. At last report

  • Families Again Forced to Flee Hometown

    Hilla, Iraq

    Hundreds of Iraqi Christian families had recently returned to their hometown of Teleskuf, after being displaced for years due to attacks perpetrated by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, only to be forced to flee their northern Iraq community all over again. These families hav