CWN - The Islamic State damaged more than 12,000 Christian homes in the Nineveh Plain region, and completely destroyed nearly 700 of them, Aid to the Church in Need reports.

In a survey of Iraqis who fled from the Nineveh region during the Islamic State’s offensive in the summer of 2014, Aid to the Church in Need found that 40% planned to return to their homes now that they region has been liberated, and another 46% were considering that option. That result shows a jump in confidence; last November, when the fate of the Nineveh region was still uncertain, only 3% said that they planned to return.

However, most of those surveyed reported that the Islamic State had plundered their property, and 22% said that their homes were destroyed. Another 25% did not know whether or not their property was intact.

About 90,000 Christians from the Nineveh Plain are temporarily living in Erbil. (About 120,000 had originally sought shelter there in 2014.) Aid to the Church in Need estimates that the cost of rebuilding their homes will be over $200 million.

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Every man baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in Baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through keeping the Commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression.

St. Gregory of Sinai