Iraq (MNN) — Violence erupted in Baghdad, Iraq, on Monday, killing 30 people and injuring hundreds. The Iraqi military said several rockets were fired in the Green Zone, the area of Baghdad that hosts government buildings.
Tuesday, rival Shia factions continue to battle each other, some aligned with popular cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Others support Iran.
Samuel with Redemptive Stories says, “al-Sadr got up and did a press conference. He said, ‘I’m just going to quit politics. I’m not going to be a politician anymore.’ And this was after his people had already begun to occupy things to have peaceful protests and demonstrations. And then when he said that, it kind of just set them off.”
Al-Sadr ordered his supporters to leave the Green Zone, which they did quickly. Experts say he wants to demonstrate his control over the crowds, intimidating his opposition. Al-Sadr has promised to quit politics before and has backtracked each time.
Could this lead to further unrest? Samuel says, “I have been talking to our local partners and local friends there. They were very concerned. Maybe we’re moving back towards a peaceable solution. But still, it’s on the knife’s edge as it always it is in Iraq. Because what does this mean for elections?”
“Does this throw out the elections that were done last year? Do we have to redo them again?”
Ask God to strengthen Christians in Iraq. Pray they would be a source of hope. Samuel says, “Just be praying that God would be faithful to intervene here on behalf of all of Iraq and bring peace to the situation. Pray our partners there will continue to stand strong, to speak into the formation of a new government, and to speak into what true and eternal hope looks like in Jesus Christ.”
The header photo shows supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad after an election. (Photo courtesy of Fars Media Corporation, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)