Monday, March 17, 2008

Iraq marks grim anniversary

Iraq-It'll be five years this Thursday since the U.S. went to war in Iraq. Initially, the Christian population supported the fall of Saddam Hussein. But five years later, Christians are caught in the crossfire of violence.The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated that at least 2 million Iraqis have fled the country since 2003, and another 2 million are displaced inside the country. The worst struggle and subsequent violence seems to be coming from the ever-growing friction between Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites.According to Open Doors, the resulting violence has caused many to leave the country, which means less than 400,000 Christians remain in the country of Iraq.Some say that in the past few years, almost 500 Iraqi Christians, including pastors and priests, have been murdered because of their faith.Even more Christians have been killed in attacks, in fighting or kidnappings for money.Bombings of Christian religious institutions have been common throughout the process, particularly in the Mosul area of northern Iraq.At the same time, some pastors and Christian workers see this time as an excellent opportunity to share the hope and peace of Jesus. Pray that the violence will decrease and Christians would be able to live their faith without fear. Pray for ministry opportunities for churches and Christian relief organizations working in Iraq.
As in the days of Noah....

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