USA (MNN) ― Today is the six-year anniversary of what's known as "9-11." On that day in 2001, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and other attacks resulted in the death of almost 3,000.
Investigation uncovered a large ring of terror cells tied to the Islamist extremist group, Al Qaeda. Attempts to stop the ring eventually led to the war in Iraq.
Even as that war effort shadows the anniversary, Iraq's embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki believes civil war has been averted and violence has significantly dropped in Baghdad and Anbar.
That's good news on the surface. However, Christians have borne the brunt of backlash within the country. It's been widely reported that Christians are leaving in droves. What remains of a once bustling population is 40-percent of a community reduced to hiding underground.
Open Doors has been reaching out with the Gospel in some of the most dangerous countries in the world, including Muslim-dominated nations like Iraq and Iran.
This year, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins September 13. The timing is uncomfortably close to 9/11 and the grief still felt throughout the United States. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day for an entire month. It is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives.
It's also a time when extremist activity is felt against the church. Dr. Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA, has visited many of these hot spots, praying with and encouraging those who are suffering for their faith.
"The anniversary of 9/11 is a time not only for prayer and reflection but also a time for Christians in the West to rededicate ourselves to bringing the Gospel to those who do not have knowledge of a loving, forgiving Lord. It's also a time to support those who know the Lord but face imprisonment, harassment, loss of homes and churches, and even death from their persecutors."