Iraq (MNN) — It’s been a chaotic week for Iraq.
On Wednesday, protestors stormed the Iraqi Parliament in Baghdad. Hundreds pushed into the building, waving flags in support of powerful Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr. They only left after al-Sadr asked them over Twitter.
Nine months after the 2021 elections, Iraqi politicians have been unable to form a government. Samuel with Redemptive Stories says, “Iraq is so fragmented, especially right now, because of the political instability as well as even just social instability.”
Meanwhile, tensions between Iraq and Turkey remain high. On July 20, artillery fire killed five Iraqi tourists at a resort in Kurdistan, near the Turkish border.
The attack was meant to target the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. The PKK fights against Turkey for independence in Kurdish areas. Samuel says, “They often have forces that hide in Kurdistan. And Turkey was targeting one of them. Apparently, the targeting went awry, and shells landed in a populated area.”
Samuel says these incursions happen regularly. “They are drone strikes, but also missile strikes. These happen on a weekly basis, or maybe even twice a week. But this was one of the first attacks that actually caused civilian casualties.”
“So there are protests all throughout Kurdistan and down all the way into Baghdad.”
This region has a Christian community that always seeks to engage its neighbors. Ask God to give them a voice during this time. Samuel says, “Pray they can also be a light to their Kurdish brothers and sisters who have suffered great loss. They too have continually faced traumas as a persecuted minority group within the context of Iraq.”
The header photo shows Muqtada al-Sadr in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Khamenei.ir, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)