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Iraq marks grim anniversary

By March 18, 2008

Iraq (MNN) – It'll be five years this Thursday since the U.S.
went to war in Iraq. Initially, the
Christian population supported the fall of Saddam Hussein. But five years later, Christians are caught
in the crossfire of violence.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has
estimated that at least 2 million Iraqis have fled the country since 2003, and
another 2 million are displaced inside the country. The worst struggle and subsequent violence
seems to be coming from the ever-growing friction between Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites.

According to Open Doors, the resulting violence has caused
many to leave the country, which means less than 400,000 Christians remain in
the country of Iraq. 

Some say that in the past few years, almost 500 Iraqi
Christians, including pastors and priests, have been murdered because of their
faith. Even more Christians have been killed in attacks, in fighting or
kidnappings for money.

Bombings of Christian religious institutions have been
common throughout the process, particularly in the Mosul area of northern Iraq.

At the same time, some pastors and Christian workers see
this time as an excellent opportunity to share the hope and peace of Jesus. Pray that the violence will decrease and
Christians would be able to live their faith without fear. Pray for ministry opportunities for churches
and Christian relief organizations working in Iraq.

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