Iraq’s upcoming vote could determine the future of the Christian region.

By October 14, 2005

Iraq (MNN)–Saturday’s vote outcome will be a pivotal time to re-shape the future of Iraq’s history. In light of that, violence surrounds Iraq’s upcoming ratification vote.

The government has stepped up security in response, while also imposing a curfew. The measures are meant to contain insurgent attacks. There are concerns that with the upswing in the violence, citizens will stay away from the polls.

Many watchdog groups are also keeping an eye on the outcome. Open Doors’ Carl Moeller says they’re distressed over the vote.

While it offers hope for freedom for believers, he explains, the trouble comes from the avenues of interpretation. “We’re concerned about Article Two of the Constitution, where it says the government of Iraq shall guarantee the full religious rights of all individuals in the freedom of belief and religious practice to the followers of Christianity and several of the other smaller religions.”

Moeller says that’s where the big problem is. “The freedom of belief and religious practice is a private affair. But, Christianity, as we know it, is not a private affair. It is a belief system that is meant to be lived out in the public sphere.”

The agreement on the draft represents a compromise between the religious and ethnic communities. However, it’s not a safeguard against persecution. Moeller says, “Too many totalitarian governments permit the freedom of belief, but not freedom of Christian cultural practice. This is one thing that we’re very concerned about.”

Please pray.

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