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#15 in Christian persecution, Iraq

Discussion in 'Persecuted Christians' started by LoricaLady, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. LoricaLady

    LoricaLady YHWH's Supporter

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    Grappling with trauma and rebuilding


    Many Iraqi Christians are still recovering from the brutal reign of ISIS, and for some believers, that threat has not fully diminished. Although ISIS has lost territory in Iraq, their ideology remains and has influenced society. Many of the militants have simply blended back into the general population. Another important driver of persecution are Shia militias who helped drive out ISIS and have gained authority and territory in the power vacuum left after ISIS was defeated.

    Additionally, Christians are dealing with a drastic reduction in their population since ISIS began their attacks, along with trauma for those believers who have stayed in their country. Iraq remains very tribal, which can also mean significant pressure for believers who come from Muslim tribes—conversion to Christianity is seen as a rejection of heritage and family. Christians from Muslim backgrounds often keep their faith a secret, since they may be attacked by family members or others in the community if their new faith is discovered

    Iraq has fallen two spots in the 2020 World Watch List, and has seen its overall persecution score reduce. This is primarily due to the decrease in violence against believers and a reduction in the number of Christians attacked or killed for their faith.
    How Christians are suffering


    The Assyrian Church of the East, the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church are all seriously affected by persecution in Iraq, especially from Islamic extremist movements and non-Christian leaders. They also face discrimination from government authorities. In central and southern Iraq, Christians often do not publicly display Christian symbols, such as a cross, as this can lead to harassment or discrimination at checkpoints, universities, government buildings and in workplaces. Even Christians in the Iraqi Kurdish Region (IKR) have reportedly removed the cross from their cars to avoid unwanted attention.

    Christians with a Muslim background experience most pressure from extended family and often keep their faith a secret to avoid threats from family members, clan leaders and the society around them. Converts to Christianity from Islam risk losing their inheritance rights and the right or means to marry. Openly leaving Islam leads to difficult situations throughout the country.
    Examples


    Three Christian converts from Islam were killed for faith-related reasons in the 2020 World Watch List reporting period. For security reasons, no further details can be given.

    On two separate occasions, Shiite militants intimidated Christians in Bartella and Qaraqosh in December 2018 by firing weapons into the air outside churches. The militants threatened Syriac Catholic priest Benham Benoka and put a gun to his head. Local authorities or police did not come to help and his efforts to have an investigation started were in vain.

    Two elderly Christian ladies were violently assaulted in their home in Bartella in May 2019. The mother (89) and daughter (69) had to be hospitalized, and jewelry and other valuables were stolen. Two suspects of Shabak ethnicity were arrested. As Middle East Concern reports: “Christians view the incident as part of a systematic campaign against Christians which aims to change the area’s demographic composition.”
    Population and number of Christian statistics: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2019).



    Pray for Iraq
    • Pray for youth training programs led by our local partner organization in the Nineveh Plains. Pray for the future of these youth, that the Lord will give them courage and strength to stand up to trials.
    • Please continue to pray for the staff of our local partners in Iraq. They often travel across the country on dangerous roads. Ask the Lord to protect them from all dangers when they go out to spread the gospel among those hungering for Jesus.
    • Pray for Christian political leaders and ask God to give them wisdom over their daily decisions. Pray they will listen to God’s voice and represent well the people they serve.
    • Pray for hope for the displaced Christian families from Mosul. Very few Christians from the city have returned because the security situation remains unstable.
     
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  2. dqhall

    dqhall Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nazareth, Israel has a minority Christian population. Years ago when Christians were a majority, I read a news report the Muslims rioted and broke the windshields of Christians cars. In 2016 I visited Nazareth. I walked around photographing sites. I noticed some of the cars had crucifixes suspended from the rear view mirrors. I remembered the riot years earlier and assumed the Muslims smashed the windshields of cars with crosses dangling from the rear view mirrors. It is better not to openly show your Christianity in such places. I met a Christian at a business who spoke English. She told me many Arab Christians left Nazareth and moved to the west. They used to have a Christian mayor. Now they have a Muslim mayor.
     
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  3. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Let us pray together!

    Lord Jesus Christ,
    we pray on behalf of Your children who are prosecuted in Iraq.
    Blessed be the LORD, for He has wondrously shown His steadfast love to us when we were in a besieged city.
    We had said in our alarms, "We are cut off from Your sight." But you heard the voice of our pleas for mercy when we cried to You for help.

    we love the LORD.
    The LORD preserves us, the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
    We be strong in the Lord, and we let our hearts take courage, all of us who wait for the LORD!
    Amen
     
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  4. Paul4JC

    Paul4JC May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord

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    Read and agree for the prayer request above. Lord the believers in Iraq have and still face persecution and discrimination in so many ways. Have mercy on them In all this. Bless all the ministries trying to help them. Meet their daily needs, and deliver them from evildoers, In Jesus name, Amen.
     
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  5. Unqualified

    Unqualified Member

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    Be interested to know how they get along day to day after 19+ years of war. I pray for them as you said @LoricaLady . My heart says reach out to pray at least and have compassion on Gods church. What lessons can we learn when persecution comes here so we don’t do anything foolish. People here should at least tithe and could change the world that way. Prayers are fine to bless them and keep them but it hasn’t changed the big picture. The ones left must be the poor that can’t leave, I sure hope there is enough aide to go around.
     
  6. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Let us pray together!
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    we pray on behalf of our local partner organization in the Nineveh Plains and other parts of Iraq and Your children in Iraq who are in distress.
    As those in Christ, we speak before God is for strengthening to these youth and Your children in Iraq.
    Grant these youths and Your people in Iraq the strength to bear the trials in Christ Jesus.
    Amen
     
  7. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Let us pray together!
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    we pray on behalf of Your children in Iraq.
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    let those in authorities who rule in Iraq decree justice
    and not commit wicked acts.
    Lord Jesus Christ, in You our families take refuge.
    Lord Jesus Christ, in You we take refuge.
    Amen
     
  8. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

    505
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    Let us pray together!
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    we pray on behalf of Your children from Mosul in Iraq who are prosecuted.

    How long, O LORD? Will you forget us forever? How long will You hide Your face from us?
    How long must we take counsel in our souls and have sorrow in our hearts all the day? How long shall our enemy be exalted over us?

    But we have trusted in Your steadfast love; our hearts shall rejoice in Your salvation.
    We will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with us.
    Amen
     
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