Christians Who Welcomed Neighbors Fleeing ISIS Receive Unexpected Gift From Glenn's Audience

Mar Elias stands for Saint Elijah, an Old Testament prophet. There is a shrine to Saint Elijah in Erbil, Iraq where Mar Elias church is. Mercury One and Glenn Beck visited this church and surrounding courtyard in December 2015. At the time it was being used as a refugee camp and occupied by over 1,000 Assyrian Christians.

How did the neighborhood of Ankawa in Erbil, Iraq grow from a population of 30,000 in 2011 to 100,000 in 2015?

In 2014, ISIS overtook the Nineveh province, a large area covering most of the northwestern part of Iraq that includes historic cities including Qaraqosh, Mosul, Batnay, Karemles, and other predominantly Christian towns. After ISIS took over their homes, citizens fled in droves to Erbil, a city to the east of the Nineveh province. Many of these refugees were Assyrian and Chaldean Christians, Yazidis and Muslims, who all ended up in various neighborhoods in and around Erbil.

RELATED: Nazarene Fund Donations Have Saved Almost 2,400 Christians in Iraq

One of these neighborhoods was Ankawa, a bustling area which had several Christian churches, active open markets, crosses everywhere and a statue of the Virgin Mary at the entry point to the neighborhood welcoming anyone who came to the area. Generally speaking, it’s a very urban and western feeling area. There is an air of commerce, bumper to bumper traffic, a nightlife, and an engaged community. Ankawa is an anchor point for the Chaldean Catholic community in Iraq.

The neighborhood of Ankawa swelled to 100,000… that is more than triple the people living in the community. Tens of thousands of people arrived to the capital city of Erbil. The government was already financially burdened with the war and they could not provide enough resources to care for these displaced people. Many who journeyed into Erbil were Assyrian Catholics and they made their way to the churches in Ankawa and other neighboring areas seeking aid.

We talk a lot about what it means to be Christian and to live a Christian life. We could all take some cues from the residents and the Chaldean Catholic Church of Erbil and Ankawa. Instead of placing restrictions on aid or turning these people away, they opened their hearts and the neighborhood to them. The churches responded by turning their properties into refugee camps. The residents responded by welcoming and providing assistance as they could.

The refugee camps were throughout Erbil. Mar Elias is just one such camp and it is the first place that Mercury One went to assist. In December 2015, Mercury One arrived in Mar Elias (in Ankawa), where the refugees had been granted temporary permission to occupy the holy shrine and had made the square and the church a permanent home. Over 1,000 people lived in this area which is the size of a typical strip mall/retail center in the U.S. This courtyard and accompanying building had become a semi-permanent home. There was running water and a sewage system developed. A primary and a secondary school was created and the community committed to educating the children who lived here. There was a daycare. If possible (which you can imagine was extremely difficult), families were finding ways to make money. An open-air market had been organized and opened just outside of the courtyard’s gates… so a place for commerce was established.

Mar Elias had become the center of the Christian refugees in Ankawa. People from other camps would come to Mar Elias to socialize and share news. There was a volleyball court set-up that was incredibly popular, probably because it was just something so simple and normal and fun, an escape from the trauma these refugees had suffered and continued to endure. Some of the refugees were artisans and created a beautiful public art piece that serves as a war memorial for those that have been lost in this violent, bloody time.

In December Mercury One moved from Mar Elias 149 people – 62 children, 25 families – to Slovakia. This was the beginning of our ability to impact the lives of these people. But, it didn’t take long for Mercury One to understand that the best solution, and the solution desired by those who were impacted the most, the Christian and Yazidi population in the region was to find a way to stay in their homeland. We just knew that the life they were building in the Mar Elias’s courtyard and buildings was not a permanent solution. Though, the community had organized and it didn’t seem like there was a place to go.

It took almost 10 months, but by October 2016, the last refugees were cleared out and the grounds were abated, rebuilding and restoration process had begun. The refugees were resettled to private homes and apartments in and around Erbil which were funded by Mercury One.

Nearly 6 months later, Mercury One is proud, for the people of the Ankawa community, that Mar Elias has been restored. The Church is once again a place for quiet contemplation and worship. It was beautifully restored in time to host special services over Easter weekend.

On Palm Sunday, Mar Elias was packed with locals and refugees to mark the beginning of Holy Week.

Republished with permission from MercuryOne.org.

Conservatives are between a rock and a hard place with Section 230 and Big Tech censorship. We don't want more government regulation, but have we moved beyond the ability of Section 230 reforms to rein in Big Tech's rising power?

Rachel Bovard, Conservative Partnership Institute's senior director of policy, joined the Glenn Beck radio program to give her thoughts and propose a possibly bipartisan alternative: enforcing our existing antitrust laws.

Watch the video below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

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Dan Bongino, host of The Dan Bongino Show, is an investor in Parler — the social media platform that actually believes in free speech. Parler was attacked by Big Tech — namely Amazon, Apple, and Google — earlier this week, but Bongino says the company isn't giving up without a fight. In fact, he says, he's willing to go bankrupt over this one.

Dan joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he calls a "smear" campaign behind the scenes, and how he believes we can move forward from Big Tech's control.

"You have no idea how bad this was behind the scenes," Dan told Glenn. "I know you're probably thinking ... well, how much worse can the attack on Parler have gotten than three trillion-dollar companies — Amazon, Apple, and Google — all seemingly coordinated to remove your business from the face of the Earth? Well, behind the scenes, it's even worse. I mean, there are smear campaigns, pressure campaigns ... lawyers, bankers, everyone, to get this company ... wiped from the face of the earth. It's incredible."

Dan emphasized that he would not give up without a fight, because what's he's really fighting for is the right to free speech for all Americans, regardless of their political opinions, without fear of being banned, blacklisted, or losing jobs and businesses.

"I will go bankrupt. I will go absolutely destitute before I let this go," he said. "I have had some very scary moments in my life and they put horse blinders on me. I know what matters now. It's not money. It's not houses. It's none of that crap. It's this: the ability to exist in a free country, where you can express your ideas freely."

Watch the video below to hear more from Dan:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Joe Biden's administration is getting ready for something historic, but we're all being distracted. And now that Biden has hired at least 14 former or current executives from Big Tech — experts at colluding to censor unflattering news about Biden — Americans must be laser-focused on what's coming.

On January 20, the most corrupt president in American history will be inaugurated, and it looks like some of his cabinet choices were picked specifically so everything just – poof – goes away. The administration nominees appear to be all about preserving corruption, crony capitalism, and executing a Great Reset. Those same people also have one more thing in common: Ukraine.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn exposes their radical agenda in their own words and gives U.S. senators the questions they must ask before confirming corrupt nominees to some of the highest offices in the country.


Freedom of speech is important. Here at BlazeTV, we work hard to bring you the truth from the most pro-America network in the country, free from Big Tech censors. Support free speech by supporting BlazeTV. Get our largest discount ever: $30 off a one-year subscription with code GLENN. Show your support and join us today!

I want to talk to you about something that probably didn't make a lot of sense a long time ago. In fact, I can't tell you how many program directors and how many stations threatened to cancel. Or how many calls I got from the average listener saying; What the hell are you even talking about when I talked about, the leadership of Martin Luther King.

I have done everything I can — as much as I possibly can — to teach you about Martin Luther King and nonviolent protests. And I don't think there's anybody in the media who has talked about nonviolence longer and more in-depth on commercial airwaves than me. Preachers, certainly. But commercial airwaves — I don't think anybody has.

Now I think many are beginning to understand why I tried to lay that foundation. I have told you since September 11th that I have this feeling you are going to be the group of people that will, in the end, save the republic.

I've always believed that. I don't know how it's saved. It might just be preserved in our hearts, I don't know. But I believe it now.

I never wanted us to get to this point — everything I've done is to prevent us from getting here. But everybody is so politically tied to their side that no one will let their shields down and actually listen to one another.

And we're at that desperate point now.

You are equipped to save the republic because you at least hopefully have a fundamental understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And you have at least a basic understanding of American history. More importantly, what makes this audience so phenomenal is that it is the most generous and service-minded audience of any show in America and perhaps the world.

That's part of what continues to be so frustrating about the Capitol invasion last week. Because you're being maligned.

You.

I know who you are. This is the most peaceful, generous, loving, God-fearing, authentic and patriotic audience in America. And you are frustrated and you are tired of being hit in the face and being called bigot and everything else no matter what you do.

I've been called an anti-Semite just in the last 24 hours by everybody, unjustly.

I get it.

You are now being tainted by the actions of complete imbeciles who do not represent you and me. It's not fair. But that's the hand that we're being dealt and God is in charge and He is not surprised.

We know the left's current tactics fail in the long run. Silencing. Canceling. Taking away rights.

We know the left's current tactics fail in the long run. Silencing. Canceling. Taking away rights. These are the hallmarks of regime, after regime, after Marxist regime on the ash heaps of history. Now China is still there because they've taken the so-called free market and took the capitalist system and they combined it with their Marxist utopia.

I don't know what's going to happen to the people over there. Especially seeing that our high-tech has joined them to weed out the dissidents. But it's not inevitable that we join them.

And it is going to require us to take a stand. Just not in the way that most people — especially if they're angry — think is most effective. Look at the ratings of BLM. 78 percent of Americans, at the beginning of the summer, thought that they were swell.

That number is in the low 20s now. Why? Because violence doesn't work.

I don't know if you saw the fellowship of the ring, but if you did, do you remember when Frodo said: "I don't want to do this!"

He's lamenting having to face down the evil and he's just one guy. I'll never forget it because it was right after 9/11, that the movie came out. I'll never forget Gandalf's reply. He said: "So do we all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what we're going to do with the time that is given us."

We can't decide what others are going to do. We can't control the dangerous Orwellian darkness that seems to be descending on America. All we can control is our response and strive to lead by example. If you know anyone in your sphere of influence who might be planning to attend one of these armed rallies in the coming days, beg them not to go. Do everything you can to stop them.

That's not a way to take a stand and it will not protect anything you hold dear and it will endanger the republic. It is what the other side wants.

So how do we take a stand?

The first thing I need you to do today is to help lower the temperature. It has been so hard for me not to respond to people on Twitter who have called me every name under the sun because I quoted the leading Holocaust historian last night on Tucker Carlson.

But see, that wasn't an attack on me, that was an attack on Tucker. If you can scare the guests from coming on to Tucker, you destroy Tucker. That's what they're doing.

Do not vent your anger on social media. At this point, it is probably just going to get your account shut down.

I want you to write this down and I want you to keep this in front of you.

Blessed are the peacemakers. For they will be called the children of God.

That means something today, much more than it did six months ago.

Blessed be the peacemakers.

Be a peacemaker.

And this is the hard part, you can't disconnect. Because things are moving too rapidly. You must stay plugged in.

But I want you to reach out to someone in kindness on social media. Encourage someone. Do not engage with the darkness. Be the light in the corner of your world.

You need to be a leader for what is to come.

And I know I'm asking you almost the impossible. I know you're angry and frustrated and it is gut-wrenching to feel that you're powerless to stop your nation from what you believe is sliding into the abyss.

You are not powerless. You are not voiceless.

I believe it too, with everything in me. I wish I was wrong. I hope that I am. I pray that I am. But know this: You are not powerless. You are not voiceless. You may be the only voice that anyone hears. Voices like mine will go away. I am trying to think of what I need to share with you before, God forbid, that ever happens. Because I cannot live with myself if I talked about something stupid politically and I find my voice silenced and then saying, I wish I would have said this or I wish I would have told them that.

You wield more power than you know. Not because of your voice or being able to call your congressman. You're more powerful than you know because you understand the real problem in America. The real problem in America is not political.

It is spiritual.

If you're like me when you get angry, you think that you are going to take on this challenge on your own — you are not being humble. You think you'll fix it. Everything that is happening to us is because we are an arrogant, out of control people.

We must humble ourselves. Please, you have the skill and the strength to endure the fiery darts that are going to come your way or already are. But this is a problem with our hearts.

You cannot reach someone's head without capturing their heart and no one is going to capture anyone's heart through violence.

Start in your own home and then reach out and if you're able, serve your neighbor. If you can, serve your local community. You must be a beacon of light in a very dark place. I'm going to ask you to do something you're really not going to like. And that's how I know things are from God. When I hear something or I think something and I'm like — oh crap, I don't want to do that — and you just know it it's right. You just know it's what God wants. And you're hoping that maybe you didn't hear it.

And it's so horrible. Because it's the last thing you want to do. But God is unlike many of our churches and preachers, He doesn't tell us what we want to hear. He doesn't have to pay for the church or get collection. Or be judged by how many people go.

Rise above the fray, with service and love, with malice toward none and charity toward all.

He'll say the same thing and he'll lose whole flocks. And they'll eventually start to go — oh wait, where is the Shepherd again?

But I have to tell you now some things that I want you to do. And they're not new. But I need you to hear me. I am asking you if you want to stand for the republic, I need you first to pray.

Pray like you've never prayed before. Pray for humility. Pray for guidance. Pray for peace. Pray for those people who you think you hate. Because you don't. Because hatred does not come from any good place.

Then I want you go out and serve someone in any way possible. On inauguration day especially, get your family and your children involved. Volunteer somewhere, take someone a meal. Do something to lift the spirits of hospital workers or your local police department.

Help a stranger mow a lawn, fix someone's car, pick up trash on the side of the highway. Do what you can do. But the most important thing is to do it with a sincere heart. And if someone asks you, why are you doing this? Just say, because I love my country.

Rise above the fray with service and love, with malice toward none and charity toward all.

Watch how the conversation went on radio HERE:

A pre-Inauguration Day plea: You wield MUCH more power than you know youtu.be