Iraq’s elections begin; believers wait for the outcome.

By December 13, 2005

Iraq (MNN)–Special voting has started days ahead of Iraq’s December 15 polls. The election is to choose the country’s first fully constitutional parliament since the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Threats of violence means thousands of Iraq’s military forces will be protecting polling stations, in case of a major attack. In addition, beginning tonight, the government said it will close its borders, extend a nighttime curfew and restrict domestic travel.

American officials are also looking at the election with hope. With a newly elected parliament in place, the government may be able to quell the insurgency so military forces can begin heading home.

Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says there’s a lot at stake, especially for the minority Christians. “Anytime there’s a democratically elected government it is going to be predominantly Muslim because most of the people are Muslim.”

It’s not a dire warning so much as it is an observation. What happens next, though, Nettleton says, “…remains to be seen though how many Christians will be represented in the parliament with Christians holding seats there and how the government will treat and make provision for the Christian citizens of Iraq.”

Nettleton says religious freedom is one area they’re hoping to see addressed once the parliament gets settled. It’s a matter for the future church to pray about. “We’re kind of playing ‘wait and see’. It’s ‘How is this going to take effect? What kind of provision are they going to make?’ Especially as it relates to changing one’s religion.”

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