Violence in Iraq galvanizes ministry resolve

By December 11, 2009

Iraq (MNN) — On
Wednesday December 9, a  three-member presidential
council in Iraq approved amendments to a 2005 election law. National Parliamentary elections originally
scheduled for January have been pushed to March 7.

Meanwhile, a power struggle in Iraq revealed itself with a
wave of bombings that killed 127 on Tuesday. Police said the attacks were apparently aimed
at sensitive Iraqi government buildings.

It may signal more to come as elections draw near. One question looms: will this violence
eventually target the minority Christians?

Adele Konyndyk of  Voice of the Martyrs Canada is troubled.
"The message to Christians seems to be, 'Get out.' It seems to be a
control issue. The Muslim population does want to maintain control. In that
case, they either want the Christians to convert to Islam, or to leave the

Bombings of Christian religious institutions have been
common throughout the process, particularly in the Mosul area of northern Iraq.
With the volatile situation and
continuing violence, Christians in Iraq are increasingly fearful of violence
directed at them by militant Islamic groups active in Iraq. 

Hundreds of thousands have already fled, which is not good
news for ministry. "There's a
concern also that more Christians will be forced to leave the area, leaving the
Christians that are remaining with more specific challenges as to how to
continue to serve Christ." 

Konyndyk asks you to pray for evangelists and church
workers. "Even in times of growing
violence, we have seen the church continue to grow, and actually people in Iraq
have become receptive to the message of the hope and peace of Jesus."

According to Voice of the Martyrs Canada, Christians
presently form only 3.3 percent of Iraq's people. Continue to 
pray for ministry opportunities for churches and Christian relief
organizations working in Iraq.


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