Is this email a hoax?

URGENT CALL FOR PRAYER FOR QUERAGOSH

IR9

Two messages regarding threats against Christians in Iraq are regularly circulating Christian networks, via email, WhatsApp and other social media. Even though the emails can be traced back to legitimate sources, the information is old and the situation has changed since the email was first sent out.

The emails contain “news from missionary friends in the town of Queragosh (Qaraqosh)”. It was originally sent by Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI) in Iraq, and the urgent call for prayer was based on the fact that at that time, ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and was within 10 minutes of where the CRI team was working. This email was sent privately but found its way to mainstream Christian networks that seem to have since reached around the world.

It is important to note that this email is not a hoax but the information is old.The original message was sent on 5 August 2014 and even though we still need to pray urgently for people facing dangers in this volatile region, this specific crisis has been averted.

The problem with emails of this nature is that there are no dates on the original e-mail, so for the next few days, weeks, months and even years, the crisis is still understood by those who receive the emails or WhatsApp messages as being “10 minutes away”. As Christians, we need to share the urgency of the situation and to feel anguish for those suffering and living in fear, but we still need to be careful when it comes to accuracy in terms of reporting (and sharing) news of such events.

(Source: InContext,  <mike@incontextministries.org>)

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