Iraq (MNN) — In 2019, protestors across Iraq demanded new parliamentary elections. They finally took place on Sunday, but the election was plagued by low voter turnout. Samuel with Redemptive Stories says, “In many cases, and particularly in the governance regions away from major cities, turnout was only around 25 to 30 percent of the potential voting population.”
Many protestors chose to boycott the election, saying it wouldn’t bring actual change to the corrupt system. Samuel says votes are still being tallied, but no party currently has enough to gain a majority. Now, the backroom deals begin.
Still, the election did bring some definite results. Samuel says, “One of the positives to come out has been the hits that many of the Iranian militia parties have taken in the election. They have not done very well.”
The party that won the most seats is a Shia party, which Samuel says may be friendlier to Christians. “The evangelical church, in particular, feels like they still have good relationships with the local government in Iraq. They are asking for prayer that God would continue to give them favor with officials. Pray that God would open the door for them to register locally as entities, particularly after the new government is formed. That’s their biggest prayer request right now.”
The fight against ISIS
Shia leadership might mean a harsher crackdown on the extremist side of the Sunni paradigm. For instance, Samuel hopes to see ISIS more limited in Iraq’s future.
Recently, Iraqi forces captured the ISIS finance chief. But Samuel says, “The fight with ISIS is not done, and it won’t be done. But I think having a Shia majority will lean towards staving off some of the ISIS influence.”
The header image shows a 2019 protest in Baghdad, part of the movement which called for new parliamentary elections. (Photo courtesy of Mohmmd Abd, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)