While many Iraqi Christians have left Iraq, some have remained to share their faith.
Iraq (MNN/OD) ― After a period of relative peace, the situation in Baghdad has become worse again. There have been explosions, and many people -- Christians and Muslims -- have been killed in the attacks.
The most recent attack claimed the lives of 95 people, while injuring more than 500 in the heart of Baghdad.
Unfortunately, hospitals and doctors are not able to cope with the injuries and with taking care of the wounded. As a result, many of the wounded survive the explosions but diein the hospitals. One of Open Doors' co-workers in Baghdad has sent three e-mails writing about the chaos in Baghdad and his emotions about the escalating violence and loss of life.
E-mail I: "We watched a television report a few days ago about the explosions. It showed people crying, not because of the dead in the explosions but because of no bandages and other medical supplies for hundreds of injured persons who were taken to the hospital. Another day, my friend went with his friend to search for his mother in the hospital; he didn't know if she was dead or alive. During the search in the hospital, they found a lot of blood on the floor. The doctor checked each body and when there was a lot of blood on it, he ordered the body moved directly to the fridge for the dead, saying, ‘We don't have time and bandages enough for these cases. We just save and medicate the simple cases.' Imagine how many people can be saved if there is enough doctors and medication. If you do not die in the explosion, you will die in the hospital. They (the Iraqi government) didn't supply the hospitals with enough medical supplies. We watched television for more than six hours about the explosions and our eyes didn't stop crying. Ohhh, my God, for how long will we suffer from these butcheries? Our two rivers -- the Tigris and Euphrates -- will be filled by blood! Jesus, we trust and believe in Your mercy and Your work to make revival, but when, and for how long?"
E-mail II: "Dear all, greetings in Christ. It is another bloody day but worse, with a lot of explosions. Many people were killed and injured: 350 killed reported in the news, but we guess about 1,500 killed. I called my best friend who works here in the foreign ministry, and I thought that he was killed. But the mercy of God saved him because he didn't go to work today. But all of his friends were injured and dead. It looks like evil has no work except in Iraq; he (Satan) is free of other jobs and is now just destroying Iraq. Please, God, we beg You to save Iraq from the hand of evil!"
E-mail III: "We live in a miracle time and way. This morning we were in the hospita,l and hundreds of injured people entered because many explosions happened in many different places in Baghdad and Mosul. What life do we live in? I don't know why all this is happening to the Iraqi people and especially Baghdad's people. I love my country and my city of Baghdad, but I am thinking of leaving. Every day we live like in a horror city. Our wives cry all the time and are scared that we won't come back alive when we leave the house. For how long can I stand it? I don't know if I am right or wrong if we stay in the blood city of Baghdad. How can we enter our family in a very bad hospital? How can we drive in the worst street in the world? I know we have a great Protector, but I want to tell you that we will be alone because many Christians are still leaving Baghdad. I am sorry. I am very depressed from the situation and living over here. So please excuse me and pray for us to always do the right thing."
Signed - "From the tearful man in his city."
More than 600,000 Christians in Iraq have been displaced since 2003 with 100,000 living in the Kurdish-controlled region in northern Iraq. Around 400,000 have fled to countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon because of the security breakdown in the country and the increased persecution following the start of the Iraq war in 2003. Prior to the Gulf War in 1991, there were almost one million Christians in Iraq; now there are less than 400,000.
Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller says despite the lower number of Christians, "The church is growing. And one of the great testimonies to the power of the Holy Spirit and the witness of Jesus Christ is that He is actually appearing to many 'seeking Muslims' in dreams and visions. This is happening all over Iraq."
"Please pray with me for the Christians in Iraq," says Moeller. "As these powerful e-mails from our grieving Open Doors co-worker indicate, the violence inside Iraq, especially around Baghdad, is escalating. They don't see a light at the end of the tunnel. Media attention now is being drawn to Afghanistan, but we must not forget our brothers and sisters in Iraq.