Christian broadcaster offers to fight with Kurdish Peshmerga forces


By Dan Wooding

Norm Nelson with pastors of Mosul
Norm Nelson with pastors of Mosul

Dr. Norm Nelson, President and on-air host of Compassion Radio, a unique activist radio ministry heard daily on more than 1,000 outlets across the United States and which sponsors compassion projects in 31 of the world’s toughest countries, is so outraged by the actions of ISIS in northern Iraq, he has sent his offer to fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga military against the advances of the ISIS terrorists who are presently threatening the Kurdish capital city of Erbil.

Here is the text of Norm Nelson’s offer on August 8, 2014 via Asharq al-Aswat (the Kurdish online newspaper): As an elderly but able-bodied former U.S. Marine trained in the firing of 155 mm artillery guns (which were used in the recent Iraq war), I am volunteering my service to the Peshmerga forces preparing to make a stand against the cowardly ISIS militia threatening the KRG and the city of Erbil. 

I have spent time in Erbil and also in Kirkuk in recent years, in addition to having traveled to Mosul and neighboring Assyrian towns and cities. As devout Christian and follower of Issa (Jesus), I have great admiration for the KRG. I did not support the military action of the Bush Administration’s war in Iraq. I visited the country on numerous occasions both before and after that unfortunate and destabilizing military effort.I have a hatred of war, but I am not a pacifist, and I believe the outrageous and sub-human behavior of ISIS requires the use of force to stop its cowardly advances throughout northern Iraq. I am presently negotiating travel to Kurdistan and am quite serious about this move of solidarity with the Kurdish people and the Christians and other religious minorities who are suffering at the hands of this brutal persecution. It is my hope that President Obama will move decisively to mobilize a U.S. military action to stop ISIS in its tracks. A failure on his part to do so will reflect more of a desire to pander to American public opinion than to act on principle. In the meantime, I offer my service to this just war cause.

Dr. Norm Nelson, California, USA

Nelson is a veteran of numerous trips to Iraq beginning in 1999, and has traveled and met with church leaders not only in Baghdad but also in Mosul, Kirkuk, Samara, Sulaimaniya and Erbil.

Norm Nelson with Afghan bodyguard
Norm Nelson with Afghan bodyguard

In one of his most recent trips to Iraq he spent time traveling around Kurdistan with a young former Peshmerga warrior who impressed him with his strength, courage and commitment to the Christian gospel.

Norm comments, “I saw a strength of character in this young man that clearly reflected his devotion to Jesus as well as his patriotism and love of his Kurdish heritage. In fact, he was only one of numerous young Kurdish Christians who said that they were ready to die for their Christian faith. I was enormously impressed with these young people. The thought that their lives are now threatened by ISIS thugs rampaging through Iraq, defaming and destroying churches and other sacred places of antiquity, as well as beheading children of minority religions is so offensive to me that I cannot hide my revulsion at this barbarity”.

“If our American President cannot summon the courage to take decisive action to stop this, I can at least make an offer to act on my own and express solidarity with these admirable Kurdish people. To me it is unthinkable that an American Christian should do nothing in the face of this revolting situation in northern Iraq.”

This year Nelson, who is about to celebrate his 76th birthday, has been on the move in several areas of the world in his ministry of compassion. He has worked with ministry partners in Syrian border refugee camps in both Lebanon and Jordan. Only days ago he returned from a month-long stint as a Professor at China’s Peking University summer semester teaching an undergraduate course in Advanced English Public Speaking. He has also visited Turkey, Denmark and the UK in pursuit of ongoing academic interests related to his work in broadcasting. He has considerable experience doing humanitarian work in Afghanistan, Iran, and Sudan and has made three trips to North Korea. To date his travels include more than 90 countries, many of them among the most difficult on earth.

So how serious is this offer of military service? Nelson says, “My wife knows that if my offer was accepted, I’d go. I have absolutely no fear of death. In fact, I’m not afraid of anything. If I were to be killed, my confidence that I would spend eternity with Christ who rose from the dead and conquered death, releases me from all fear. I actually pity the members or ISIS. Their actions are those of desperate, fearful people. My greatest hope would be that I could show them that to live for Christ is to be a free and fulfilled person. I don’t hate them. I hate what they do. And what they do must be stopped.”

Norm Nelson can be reached for interviews at[email protected]. Compassion Radio, P.O. Box 2770, Orange, CA 92859.

Pleasae pray for Norm, the Christians and leaders in Syria and Iraq, as well as the Peshmerga warriors.–ASSIST News



  1. Norm Nelson is so right in his beliefs and his desire to join the ranks of the Peshmerga , this also is my desire as I watch these senseless cowardly killings of women , children , and unarmed men and even the cowardly beheading of a non combatant , especially after a loving mother plead s with the leader on wide world television not hold her son accountable for foreign policy , and humanitarian aid workers that just try to help people , these masks people Isis must be stopped make no mistake , God is Great , Let it be known ” I too am Combat Ready and an expert in firearms , and still STAND undefeated in hand to hand Combat ” , even at 50 + , so count me in , I am Passport ready and willing to help the Peshmerga defend all the innocent people and also the ones who stand strong in our Christian faith and JESUS (Issa) , so Norm let me know and may God Bless you .

  2. I have no military experience and I was denied admittance into the US armed services. I want to help in anyway I can even if that means distributing water or cooking meals just ANYTHING to help. How can I help the fight against ISIS???

  3. Be interested to get feedback on this paper I am working on. This whole ISIS thing is causing me to dig deep into the Christian theology on the use of “deadly force”. I am a former Marine and am heavily involved in youth development. The subject matter of Chivarly and this Yazidi PM plea for the salvation of her people have led me on the two month quest to understand my duty and the duty of the Men of Christendom in protecting the weak and innocent when it is clear the Civil Magistrate will not.

  4. let’s link up and fight together. We all want the same thing. at 300 meters with an m16 i will hit center mass. one shot one kill. Cover me while I move. Let’s roll… I am in Texas w a valid passport. The Peshmerga needs good shooters. Hit me up I’m ready today. If your a prior combat vet. Then I am awaiting your orders.

  5. I have been to Iraq twice. The first deployment was in Saab-al-Bor(2009), and the IA guys we did patrols with and made friends with are probably mostly dead as isis festers there now. All the kids that we gave school supplies and soccer balls to, dead or enslaved, and how those kids loved America.
    The second time was in Baghdad(2011) as part of the Presidents Surge. That time, the largely Shia IA units were VERY hostile, even threatening to shoot at us if we passed their checkpoints. I have ZERO sympathy for the current Iraqi government.
    I have never worked with Kurds but my unit was in Kirkuk while I was going through MEPPS, and they had a very high opinion of those people. I see the Kurds’ struggle as much like our own fight for freedom against oppression and occupation.
    What I need to know is, are the injuries that keep me from serving here prohibitive there? I can run and shoot but couldn’t pass a PT test. I was an M2 gunner and still have all of the clearing and function check lists memorized, still remember most of the combat first aid and other training.

  6. iam ready to die.. fighting isis I want to help my Christian brothers.. and other minorities iam from India.. iam 27years old how can I join peshmerga…

Comments are closed.