Iraqi Christian family in Indianapolis prays for those still there

Published: .
Updated: .
For one Indianapolis family, watching the images of Christians being killed in Iraq is horrifying.

They call it a holocaust and know that could very easily be them dying for their faith, had they not made the decision to leave and come to the United States.

Alfan Abdulahad recites a prayer in Arabic.

It's a prayer that today, in parts of Iraq controlled by the extremist group ISIS, would mean death for the 56-year-old pharmacist who now lives in Indianapolis with her family.

The crucifix around her neck says it all. Alfan is an Iraqi Christian.

"This is my faith. I will sacrifice everything for my faith and for my safety," she said at her apartment on the north side of Indianapolis Friday.

RELATED: Iraqi families in Indy scared, heartbroken

Eight years ago, Alfan, her husband and two sons fled Iraq because of what they saw around them, an increasing persecution of Iraqi Christians.

"We left our home. We left, I mean, everything," said Alfan.

"The world did not speak about it or listen to our suffering," said her son Sarmed, who explained that Christian churches have been bombed in Iraq since 2004, not to mention the kidnappings, torture and killings of Christian clergy.

This week, the world is listening as the United States launched airstrikes against ISIS and dropped humanitarian aid to religious minorities who have fled their homes. Alfan says some relatives of her husband who had to flee their homes to escape death at the hands of ISIS.  

"These terrorists. They are taking cities after cities, places after places," she explained.

"Iraqi Christians are being killed. Their women are being sold as sex slaves in the marketplace and their children are being killed and beheaded. What the world is going to do," asked Alfan's son Sarmed.

The family understands Americans may be against further involvement in Iraq beyond just airstrikes and humanitarian aid, but says what's going on there, is the world's problem.

"People are dying and genocide is taking place," said Sarmed.

"I don't just ask the United States, I ask the entire international community to intervene," he added.

Alfan and Sarmed know very well, had they stayed, they could be the ones dying.

"We are not going to sacrifice our faith in Jesus Christ for anything else, for any other religion, not only Islam, but not any other religion. I was born a Christian. I lived as a Christian and I want to stay a Christian," said Sarmed.

Precisely the reason this family said they are staying put.

"We are blessed to be living in this country," said Sarmed.

All they can do now is pray for their family and other Iraqi Christians who don't have that choice.