[EDITOR’S NOTE: Early Friday morning, gunmen attacked the offices of two main Sunni parties in Baghdad. No one was hurt in the attack, which comes amid continuing tensions over the formation of Iraq’s new government.]
Iraq (MNN) — Chaos engulfed the new parliament of Iraq on January 9. A Shia faction of the government rejects the results of last year’s election. During the session, they claimed they had the seats to pick the next prime minister. Shouting and even fistfights broke out.
The Iran-backed Shia factions suffered losses in the elections. They contested the count, saying voter fraud cost them several seats. But Iraq’s federal court upheld the results.
Iraq’s government splits power among the major groups, with a Sunni parliamentary speaker, a Shia prime minister, and a Kurdish president.
Samuel with Redemptive Stories says no party gained a majority in the election, so the groups had to compromise. “They had finally written the outline for an agreement just last week. They got there and sat down for their meeting. Within one hour all the agreements that had been written and outlined had fallen apart and they were fighting. So they just left. And so again, we’re back to square one.”
The Church in Iraq
But the absence of a functioning government may provide an opportunity for the Church in Iraq. Samuel says, “People are a lot less concerned about what Christians are doing, or what they’re not doing. And it gives an opportunity for them to boldly proclaim their faith.”
Churches have seen many people interested in Jesus. They especially connect over social media or even more private Zoom meetings.
Ask God to strengthen and grow the Church in Iraq. Samuel says, “One of our partners says, ‘Now is the time of harvest. Now is the time to see God’s Kingdom build,’ He speaks particularly of the south of Iraq, which has been far more unreached than other places. This area has been controlled by Shia for a long, long time. So it is a place that remains very unreached.”
The header photo shows the Baghdad Convention Center, where the Council of Representatives of Iraq meets. (Photo courtesy of James (Jim) Gordon, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)