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Iraqi church reacts to deathly 2012 with prayer

By February 10, 2012

Iraq (MNN) — Less than two months into the New Year, Iraq already has layers of blood on its hands.

Human Rights Watch announced yesterday that Iraqi authorities have executed at least 65 people so far in 2012. The Associated Press reports that 14 people were executed on a single day.

The government executions have been accompanied by terrorist ones in 2012. A series of terror attacks has rattled Iraq and left dozens dead. It's a fearful atmosphere at best.

The scent of death amid other national turmoil has brought Christians to their knees. Christians recently met for a special prayer service at the Church of the Sacred Heart of the Chaldeans in Kirkuk, Iraq.

SAT-7, a Christian, satellite television network for the Middle East and North Africa, reports that the believers prayed that peace and unity would prevail in the country. They also prayed that Iraq would be a symbol of unified brotherhood and safety.

During the service, Archbishop Louis Sako of the Chaldeans in Kirkuk and Suleimania said, "Everyone must make concessions for the sake of the unity and peace of the country and its overriding interests. Today, we gather for prayer for the sake of the unity of Christians. But we say that Christians are a part of the Iraqi people, and its unity reflects positively on the totality of things."

Sako encouraged neighboring countries to lend a helping hand, at the same time assuring them that Iraq does not need interference in its affairs to overcome its problems.

The Iraqi church has suffered in the last few years, but is growing and overcoming its own problems, thanks in part to groups like SAT-7. In comparison to the rest of the region, Iraq is especially connected to SAT-7 KIDS programming. Recent survey research reveals that Iraq had the largest kids' viewership of SAT-7 KIDS programming during 2011. In a country of about 30 million people, a total of 4,126,047 children under the age of 15 watched SAT-7 KIDS.

One viewer in Iraq shared her connection with SAT-7 ARABIC: "SAT-7, you are a candle that God sent to every person, especially youth. Thank you very much for the great efforts you exert for your channel to be fruitful. Your sweet fragrance is filling the whole world."

SAT-7 is bringing hope to people across the volatile nation of Iraq. As the Christians in Iraq pray for their country, SAT-7 prays with them. To learn more about SAT-7's crucial role in Iraq, click here.

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