Despite unrest, the church in Iraq is growing and many coming to faith in Jesus.

By November 19, 2004

Iraq (MNN) — The fighting in Iraq has caused many Christians to flee the country. But many other Christians still remain in Iraq, and the church is continuing to grow.

Hans Finzel is with CB International, a ministry that works in the Middle East. He says, “The reports we get from the media are extremely negative, but the reports we get from the ground are quite positive about the growth of the church. I think you probably heard about the explosion of growth in the evangelical movement in Iraq because of the new freedoms. Obviously it’s dangerous; yes there are people fleeing for safety, but by and large, most of the country’s quite peaceful. So in terms of Iraq, we see a real upswing in the growth of the church.”

There is a real need for leaders in the church in Iraq, and CB International is providing ministry training and theological education to help strengthen the church. Iraqi church leaders travel to neighboring Lebanon and Jordan to receive training, and come back into Iraq encouraged and better equipped to meet the needs of their people.

In many Middle-Eastern countries, says Finzel, “God has raised up a great group of national Christians.” But it is difficult to live in those countries where unrest and terror abound. So the Christians there need prayer for strength and courage to continue in their faith.

Finzel also asks that Christians everywhere, “Pray that our efforts to continue to assist the church, especially its leaders, will go forward, so even if we can’t be there because of conflict, the church will continue to grow as the leaders are strengthened.”

CB International is active in ministry training throughout the Middle East, with the desire to fulfill the Great Commission through partnership with churches to reach the final frontiers of the mission field.

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