Tensions ignite alarming violence against Christians in Iraq.

By October 2, 2006

Iraq (MNN)–Open Doors workers in Iraq say the combination of Ramadan and statements from Pope Benedict have ignited an explosive atmosphere.

In Baghdad and Mosul, news reports indicate several churches have been attacked. A group of men reportedly fired rockets on the Chaldean Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul last week and detonated an explosive device outside the church door, although there were no injuries.

Last Sunday, Muslims fired on the Church of the Holy Spirit. They demanded a condemnation of the pope’s speech.

Open Doors’ sources in Baghdad report that at least two people have been killed and many more have been injured by bombs in front and behind the church and Patriarchate of the Ancient Church of the East.

Ministry property in Baghdad was also targeted. Fortunately, no one was injured, but visitors were very frightened and co-workers remain anxious.

The ‘why’ of the uptick in aggression is answered with myriad reasons. Some of those are as simple as the believers are being linked to anti-Western sentiments. Dr. Carl Moeller, Open Doors USA President, says, “Iraq is obviously a very dangerous place and Christians are caught in the crossfire. Many Christians are fleeing; but those who remain need our support and prayers.”

Pray for strength for the believers and their children, and pray for the church leaders that they will be able to guide with wisdom.

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