Christian persecution fails to slow Iraqi church growth.

By July 4, 2006

Iraq (MNN)–Iraq continues its oppression and violence against religious freedom.

Open Doors’ Carl Moeller says their partners have noted a spike not only in harassment and persecution, but also direct threat. “We do know that the churches are being bombed, and we know that churches are being targeted. However, Christians are being emboldened to witness.”

The chaos in the region has created an exodus. Moeller explains that, even by the government’s recollection, “The sectarian violence has pushed over 130-thousand families, by their recollection, into refugee status. Much of the displacement is going along sectarian lines with Sunnis and Shiites fleeing and Christians and Kurds also being forced to flee from ethnically mixed neighborhoods.”

Parliament members urged ministers this week to give more aid and security to contain the ethnic cleansing crisis.
Calling it a ‘Balkanization’, few expect a quick solution. Moeller says often, such persecution creates a diaspora effect, as seen in the spread of the Gospel.

Moeller calls it an interesting phenomenon. “The persecution that takes place because Christians speak out is actually bringing them to the attention of authorities as non-Sunnis or non-Shiites and creating opportunities for them.”

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