Iraq (MNN) — Security officials in Iraq recently wrote a negative report on an evangelical team with Redemptive Stories. Samuel says, “It just outlined some activities that they had done and highlighted individual persons within their organization, reporting on some of the things that they had done.”
“Most of it was actually, in my opinion, false. And it painted them in a poor light.”
It’s an example of the cultural resistance evangelical Christians face in Iraq.
But it doesn’t just come from Muslim officials in the government. Samuel says it can come from other groups of Christians as well. “The Chaldean Catholic Church and other more historical churches view them as outsiders and view them as not part of the community of God. They might use the word ‘cult.’”
The Chaldean Catholic Church has a long history in Iraq. Their rites and bishops descend from the Church of the East, which at one time stretched from the Middle East through large parts of Asia. Chaldean Catholics make up about 80 percent of the Christian population of Iraq.
How to pray
This has caused some discouragement among evangelical Christians. Pray God will give them boldness and empower them to walk in faithfulness.
What could this report mean, practically? Samuel says, “The reality of arrest is very minimal. It’s possible but minimal. The more realistic concern is some sort of attack on the church or on the organization because there is no real policing of life in Iraq.”
The header photo shows the interior of a Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo courtesy of Christian World, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)