Christians targeted and killed in Iraq

By February 17, 2010

Iraq (MNN) — We begin today in Iraq where Christians are again being targeted.

According to President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller, information is sketchy. "We're not quite sure, but a number of Christians — at least six by our count — in the last two or three days have been killed by Muslims extremists in the Christian communities of Mosul."

While Christians have been targeted before, Moeller is deeply concerned. "This seems to be — if I can say — almost the final push to see if they can rid Mosul of all of its ancient Christian community."

Christians have been fleeing Iraq. Moeller says, "Many have left Iraq already because they have been targeted for the last four or five years by intentional attacks."

Moeller says this could make the situation even worse because it was so blatant. "Many of these Christians were killed at the last checkpoint between Mosul and Kurdistan while Kurdish security and Arabic speaking militias watched."

Christian leaders in Mosul, north of Baghdad, have criticized the security forces for "standing by and watching" as attacks against their community increase in the run-up to the parliamentary poll.

"It has become a nightmare," says one Christian leader. "The security forces should not be standing by and watching. We hold them responsible, because they are supposed to be protecting us and protecting all Iraqis."

Christians students are also being targeted. An Open Doors worker says, "Christian students are pointed to in the university by Muslim students. Next, these Christians are taken away and killed."

Later the worker reported, "[I] just received an update that two more students have just been kidnapped." Local team members are calling their friends and relatives in Mosul. One devastated colleague says four of his friends have either been killed or have family members who were killed [yesterday].

Moeller says Christians are the weakest segment of society. "They don't have militias and they don't have armies fighting on their behalf. But our prayer is that the world will wake up and stand with the Christians community and preserve it."

The exact number of Christians is Iraq is difficult to estimate, but it's well below the 500,000 that existed there before the Iraq war.

Pray that God will protect Iraq's remnant church in Iraq.

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