Turmoil endangers Iraq’s Christians.

By August 3, 2004

Iraq (MNN)–Next, religious minorities in Iraq, including Christians, make up about three percent of the population.
They’re feeling the heat of persecution now, with a marked increase in violence toward them since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller says that Christians in the West need to support and pray for the struggling Christian community in Iraq. ODM’s’ Jerry Dykstra agrees, adding Sunday’s bombings won’t be the last of the trouble. “This just heightens the anxiety level that Christians in the Baghdad area and all through Iraq. They were living in fear previous to this and now they’re questioning what’s in store for them and whether they should stay or leave.”

In the report of a month ago, an Open Doors source said: “Although one can see growing frustration, I hope this will not move people to start thinking about leaving the country. After the first Gulf War, about 35 percent of the Christian population emigrated, but during the last Gulf War the emigration was much less.”

Due to the security problems in the area, Open Doors postponed all Christian training seminars, but literature ministry continues. Dykstra believes this ‘power move’ kind of persecution may be motivated by politics. “That’s really the goal of the terrorists–to drive out the Christian community which numbers about 500-thosuand from Iraq, so that when they’re making a new government in about six months, that they will not have any Christians to share the government with or give religious freedom.”

Open Doors urges Christians everywhere else to “…raise our prayer level this week. Let’s lift up our petitions to the Lord for our suffering brothers and sisters with a renewed passion. Pray especially for families who lost loved ones in the attack. Pray for the wounded. Pray for religious freedom for Christians as a new government is formed. Pray for peace.”

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