A British electronica band has teamed up with the archbishop of Iraq to release a song sending a message of hope to persecuted Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities in the crosshairs of the Islamic State–and raising awareness about their suffering and need for support.
Ooberfuse, a duo based in Woolwich, London, recently released the video, titled “We Are One.” The video was shot in various refugee camps in Erbil and features children of all backgrounds who are living in squalor after the Islamic State forced them to flee their homelands. They are the fortunate who managed to survive the assault.
As The Christian Post reports, the video “features very strong Christian overtones and reiterates the fact that although many of these refugees have lost their homes and lives they once knew in Iraq, they will never be without the love and hope of God.” It also features quotes from a number of officials explaining the suffering of not being able to return home.
Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil begins the video by reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, the language in which Jesus is believed to have first recited it. Archbishop Warda expressed enthusiasm for the project in speaking with the Catholic Herald. “Sometimes you take hard measures, unfortunate measures to deal with and treat this cancer,” he added, referring to the Islamic State as the “cancer.”
Archbishop Warda has previously used the term for the terrorist group, though noting in remarks in April that sectarian violence based on religion is “not new,” though the Islamic State has taken it to a new scale of horror. He has called for Christians to try to remain in their native lands in Iraq and preserve the religion there, as he has seen the numbers of his diocese diminish rapidly. “We know that life in Iraq is not easy, especially when they live crammed into a room in a house or in a caravan and we have been left with nothing,” he stated, but hoped some would reconsider.
“I think this is the first time in history a leading Middle Eastern religious leader has embraced the forms of popular culture to advance the Christian message of love and hope,” said Ooberfuse singer and guitarist Hal St John, thanking the archbishop for joining their efforts.
Watch the video below: