The increase of violence against Christians in Iraq prompts a call for prayer.

By July 5, 2004

Iraq (MNN)–It is a time of great turmoil and change for the people of Iraq as the new government is established.

Local Christians are waiting to see how the police and military will handle violence that is targeted specifically toward the Christian church.

Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, says in spite of some accounts of violence Christians are sharing Bibles and Christian material on the streets of Iraq. “The people were overjoyed. They were glad to have it. They were asking for more and I think the people there are very hungry and there is a great opportunity for the Gospel work to go forward.”

A case in point, VOM-Canada reports that a Catholic church in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul is in shock after
a grenade was thrown at a church, injuring one person.
According to Aid to the Church in Need, two individuals threw the grenade from their car at the Holy Spirit Chaldean Catholic Church on the morning of June 26.

Church leaders in Iraq say attacks against Christians have been increasing recently. About a dozen Iraqi Christians have been killed in the past year by the “Al-Wahabe” militant movement.
Br>The Al-Wahabe movement held significant power in the former Iraqi government and has been causing problems for Christians for years.

There is hope that the violence may decrease as Iraq’s new administration takes control, but this is by no means a certainty. Pray for healing for the injured woman. Pray that Iraq’s new administration will be able to restore order and will allow freedom of religion for all people in Iraq.

There eventually may be further restrictions placed upon them and Nettleton urges people to pray. “First we can pray for safety. Secondly pray that they will be effective ministers of the Gospel. During this time of turmoil people are asking questions and this is a time where there can be a great harvest of souls. And so we need to pray that the Holy Spirit will be working on the hearts of Muslim people in Iraq. We also need to pray for the Christian people who are reaching out to them.”

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