Christians in Iraq brace for further violence.

By February 6, 2006

Iraq (MNN)–Christians are bracing for more deadly attacks in the wake of Muslim fury over offensive cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad published in Europe.

It is now thought that simulanteous explosions over the weekend in Kirkuk and Baghdad were an indication of the ire raised over the caricatures.

While there is no direct proof of a link, the suspicion of the connection has many believers not only on edge, but also taking better security precautions.

Open Doors Ministries’ Carl Moeller says the situation will likely grow more difficult before it gets better for believers. “One of the stated objectives of these radical Islamists in these areas is to use these bombings, targeted, coordinated, obviously planned, with one intention, and that intention is to drive the Christian community out of their country.”

Christians have been in the region for about 2,000 years, but started leaving the country after attacks on churches began in 2004. That exodus sped up considerably as more incidents of violence against the church were reported.

Moeller agrees that the church in Iraq is hard-pressed. Though, as a remnant, he says their evangelistic vision remains clear. “We have estimates ranging between half a million and 700-thousand remaining in the country of Iraq and we believe that with prayer and strengthening from the church in the west, the Christian community can remain there and it should remain as a vital presence and voice for democracy and for freedom of religion.”

Pray that believers would be encouraged knowing that people around the world are praying for them. Also ask God for their protection from bombs and retaliation attacks from extremist Muslims.

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