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National Conference and hope await Iraq

By January 27, 2012

Iraq
(MNN) — Iraq's efforts toward reconciliation and keeping a coalition
government together hinge on the outcome of the upcoming National Conference.

Cracks
have already appeared in the façade of a unified government, with parties being
unable to cooperate long enough to set a time and place for the meetings.

Still, according to Melissa Brown* with SAT-7 USA, the meetings have to happen. "The President, the Prime Minister, and
other notable politicians will get together and try to resolve some of their interpersonal
conflicts, try to resolve some of the security issues the nation is
facing–basically, just to get together
and try to map out a better plan for the future."

December's withdrawal of U.S. forces highlights this as a key
transition period for Iraqi leaders to map out a plan for a better future. However, skepticism over the Conference's effectiveness
is rampant. Brown explains, "Some
feel that there have been many conferences and meetings to try to resolve the
issues. In the past, there have been a lot of big words, but little action. Some
are hopeful that there will be new agreements between political parties, so
that hopefully, if they get along better, they can bring a better
economy."

At
the end of last year, the call went out for a national conference of all of
Iraq's ruling political parties to try to resolve their on-going disputes. At
first, it seemed like this would happen as planned, but there were immediate
disagreements over the logistics. Security issues also came into play after an attack
in Basra, one of the proposed meeting sites.

The
average person just wants the leadership to "get on with it." Iraq's political parties have been having
meetings off and on since the parliamentary elections in March 2010. Little else has been done since then, and the
main issues of corruption, security and economy still languish in the
background. 

Confronting those issues presents a unique "chicken and egg" question of what to prioritize once lawmakers
can sit down face-to-face. Brown notes, "In order for the economy to flourish,
the security situation has to get better. At the same time, part of the
security is the people's lack of confidence in the government." 

Fed up, there are many who are disillusioned with the process and
are looking for not only a positive message, but also hope. That's where SAT-7, a Christian satellite
television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, comes in. Brown says the programming found on their
channels meets that need. Plus, "In
a country of about 30 million people, over four million children are watching
SAT-7, and that's just the children. Of course, there are even more adults, and
they have had a spike in viewer responses of people who are finding hope and
finding comfort."

In the throes of labor for a new government, it is now that the hope
of Christ can be heard clearly, despite the ongoing harassment and
persecution. There's one guaranteed
solution. Brown says, "Christians in Iraq offer hope to their
country because the life of Christ offers an alternative to violence as a means
of resolving conflict. The life of Christ also offers an alternative to
religious and ethnic discrimination in the community, and the life of Christ
offers an alternative to corruption."

 

 *Melissa
Brown is a freelance writer for SAT-7 USA. Her story is here.  

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