Christians begin to leave Iraq.

By June 9, 2004

Iraq (MNN)–Christians are getting their papers in order and preparing to leave Iraq en masse before the June30th deadline for transfer of power.

The country’s temporary constitution names Islam the “Official Religion of the State”. Compounded by the community’s failure for an appointment to any position on the Executive Council and getting only one ministry post, believers feel it is best to get out while they still can.

According to Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton,it’s a severe disappointment. “The Americans came and were welcomed with open arms by the Christians there who anticipated a democratic government, they anticipated that the Christians would have representation in that government.”

With so many leaving, the Christians are making their dissatisfaction known. “I think that’s a pretty clear signal that they’re not very confident of how they will be received, how they will be protected.”

An odd angle to an otherwise well-covered story, the plight of the church has slipped under the media radar. Nettleton describes the effect on future outreach as pronounced. “If you lose a lot of the population of your churches, you’re losing some of the people who would be working, would be ministering, would be witnessing to the people around them. If you cut the numbers in half, or if you cut the numbers by 25-percent, that cuts the available people who can be involved in the ministry of that church.”

Pray for the believers in Iraq and for those in ministry as they make crucial decisions in the days ahead.

Leave a Reply