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 August 30, 2012 5:01 AM

Iraqi Christian Exodus from Mosul Continues Due to Unabated Violence
Mosul is now one of the most violent cities in Iraq with Christians and other minorities often targets of the violence. “With the spotlight currently on Syria, Nigeria and Afghanistan; Iraq has been placed on the back-burner,” notes Dr. Carl Moeller. “But we as Christians in the West must continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq, who face extinction if we don’t pray and advocate for them.”
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 August 29, 2012 4:04 AM

Iraqi Christian Exodus from Mosul Continues Due to Unabated Violence: Mosul is now one of the most violent cities in Iraq with Christians and other minorities often targets of the violence. As a result, thousands of Christians have left the Iraqi city since 2003 when U.S. forces deposed Saddam Hussein. The war triggered a wave of continuous violence in the second largest city in Iraq. Dr. Carl Moeller, Open Doors USA President/CEO, labels the attacks against Christians in Mosul and all of Iraq as “religicide.” He states: “Christians in cities like Baghdad and Mosul are gripped by terrorism. They are fleeing in droves." Read more>>  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 August 02, 2012 2:23 AM

Terror in Iraq is the Worst in Years
In an email to Open Doors, a contact in Iraq sent this urgent plea for prayer: “Each hour the news gets worse. The violence is unbelievable; with scores of police and soldiers killed, we no longer have any security. Please pray for Iraq and the remaining Christians.”
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 October 28, 2011 12:59 PM

Exodus of Christians from Iraq Continues Unabated
While the world's attention has focused on countries such as Libya, Syria, and Egypt, ongoing violence in Iraq continues to push Christians to the northern reaches of the Kurdish region and abroad. One Christian observes, "The attacks on Christians continue and the world remains totally silent. It's as if we've been swallowed up by the night."
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 August 19, 2011 5:40 AM

August 18th, 2011

Dear Donna,

"And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:27-28

Insurgent Blast Nearly Demolishes Iraqi Church
This was the second time in the past two weeks that the Christian community in Kirkuk had come under attack. The explosion was so crushing that the church will likely need to be demolished and rebuilt.
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 April 15, 2011 4:44 AM

Thousands of Christians Have Fled Iraq Since Church Massacre
Based on disturbing statistics, Christians are leaving Iraq at an alarming rate. "If this exodus is not stopped, Iraq will not have any Christians left in three years," says Steve, an undercover field worker for Open Doors.
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 December 23, 2010 3:50 AM

“Christmas is coming, but peace does not exist in Iraq. Pray for us to have a peaceful Christmas. God is so good, and I love Him so much,” pleads Martha an Iraqi mother who has suffered through the recent carnage and attacks on Christians in Baghdad.
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 December 16, 2010 6:30 AM

Several weeks ago we asked supporters to write letters of encouragement to the victims of the violence targeting the Christian community in Baghdad. In total about 1750 prayer cards and notes of encouragement were received from Open Doors offices worldwide! These letters were combined to create a beautiful 250-page book. Last week it was presented to a Christian leader in Baghdad. Upon receiving the book an Open Door staff member commented, “He was touched. He saw it as an answer to their prayers and a confirmation that they are not forgotten.” On behalf of Christians in Baghdad we thank you for your support in their time of need.

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 April 11, 2010 5:22 AM

The Fate of Iraq's Assyrian Christians
 
Amidst the chaos and complexity of the Iraq war dwells an almost forgotten Christian minority commonly known as the Assyrians (also called Chaldeans and Syriacs). Though small in number today, the Assyrians remain a remnant of a once great empire that ruled Mesopotamia in the 8th century BC. As recorded in the Old Testament, the prophet Jonah remorsefully visited the Assyrians after being commanded by God to call them to repentance. Hence, the Assyrians became among the first gentile people redeemed by the God of Israel. The Assyrians were also among the first to follow Christ; the Apostle Thomas was believed to have delivered the Gospel to them in 33 AD. To this day, the Assyrians speak Aramaic, the ancient language spoken by Christ.

The Plains of Nineveh, located in northern Iraq, have remained the Assyrian homeland ever since. Yet, after the outbreak of the Iraq war, there has been grave concern that this ancient people whose recorded history dates back six thousand years will be uprooted forever. Since the US-Iraq war erupted in 2003, nearly 2,000 Assyrians and other Christians have been killed, left vulnerable to terrorist attacks by Shi’ite and Sunni extremists determined to rid the country
of its Christian minority. ...
 
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 March 31, 2010 11:38 AM

Update Report – Iraq Elections Results  

According to Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako, the final results of the Iraqi Parliamentary elections show a change [compared to 2005]. Having won the elections, Iyad Allawi is given the first chance to form a coalition government. Allawi is leading an ethnically mixed coalition of both Sunni and Shia Muslims.

The country coordinator of Open Doors responded slightly positively about these election results saying, “Local Christians hope Allawi will be able to bridge the sectarian division in Iraq. Allawi’s bloc claims to be a secular alliance which implies separation between state and religion.”

Although there was much violence directed towards Christians prior to the elections, it’s complicated to detect where the motives came from and why. “I am afraid of a division in the country,” says Sako when asked about his vision for the future of Iraq. He adds, “Please pray for peace and a harmonic co-existence between all human beings. Prayers help to respect the rights of the others, help the dialogue to build a harmonic society. God is working through people who pray.” 

Father, thank you for the slightly positive outcome of the Iraqi elections. We know that You are in control of all politics, governments, and world leaders. We ask now that You would continue to steer Iraq into just and fair decisions regarding religious freedom. We pray for peace between all people there and throughout the world.

Praying with you,

The Prayer Force Team

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 March 24, 2010 4:53 AM

Isolated Iraqi believers equipped through Bible programs
The God of the Bible

Persecuted believers find great strength in God's Word.
Read More>>

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 March 03, 2010 3:10 PM

March 3, 2010

Dear Donna

Five Family Members Gunned Down in Mosul

Mosul, Iraq is a dangerous place for Christians to live. Some remain there because they do not have alternatives. Others choose to stay and serve the community. Such was the case of one Christian family living and serving in Mosul both out of necessity and commitment. But last week, attackers forced themselves into the house, gunning down all five family members and then throwing their bodies out onto the street as a message to Christians. Also in the past week 40 to 50 more families have fled Mosul. While it is difficult to quote exact numbers, it is estimated that just ten years ago, 100,000 Christians lived in Mosul. Now it is thought that only 150-300 Christian families remain.

Father, our heart breaks that Your people are under attack in Mosul. Comfort and strengthen them. Send Your Spirit to rain down on this region in power that in the midst of this persecution Your church will not only survive, but increase mightily.

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 February 17, 2010 10:23 AM

Dear Donna 

Christians Targeted, Killed in Mosul, Iraq

On Monday (Feb 15), in a cry of distress, an Open Doors co-worker reported, "Christians are being targeted inside their own homes and killed. Several others have been killed in front of the last check point before leaving Mosul while the Kurdish and Arab security forces were watching."  Also at the university in Mosul, Christian students are being targeted. The Open Doors worker reports, "Christian students are pointed to by some Muslim students at the university then taken away and killed. Please get folks to pray!"

"For years Christians have been targeted in Mosul and the surrounding area," says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. “It is one of the most violent areas in Iraq. With the parliamentary elections coming up March 7, more violence against Christians is expected."

Father we pray for the victims of these heinous and violent crimes, asking for Your peace that passes all understanding to dwell in their hearts and homes. We bring before You the families enduring the loss of a loved one, Father, please replace their pain with love and forgiveness and empower believers in Iraq to stand strong in their faith in You.

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 October 02, 2009 7:31 PM

KIDNAPPED CHRISTIAN DOCTOR IN IRAQ FREED IN CRITICAL CONDITION: Islamic kidnappers in Kirkuk, Iraq last week dumped a Christian doctor in critical condition in front of a mosque after 29 days of torture and threats to him and his family.  Full story>>
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 July 01, 2009 11:04 AM

Of Interest - Ancient Iraqi sect struggles to keep culture in US 7:14 AM

FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) When the bride and groom arrive at the Mandaean Association, the Middle Eastern salad is ready and flower petals are lightly strewn across the floor.

For these Iraqis who follow the teachings of John the Baptist, weddings are an opportunity for the small community to come together as believers try to preserve their heritage far away from their ancestral homeland.

As young and old dance to American and Arabic songs inside the suburban Detroit mandi, the Mandaean house of worship, a dozen young Mandaean-Americans getting fresh air outside reflect on their role in Mandaean society: This crew of cousins is the ''next generation'' whose parents and grandparents believe will determine whether the Mandaean faith lives or dies in the United States.

''Being first generation is going to be the hardest,'' said Eva Majdob Rojas, 26, of Monroe. ''We have to either stick to those really old traditions or break the ice as individuals and get our parents to understand that.''

After more than 2,000 years of practicing their Gnostic faith almost entirely in Iraq and Iran, some Mandaean-Americans fear their ancient beliefs may fade in the U.S. unless they can agree on a cultural course that keeps traditions intact while dealing with the pressures of American society.

The world's roughly 60,000 Mandaeans have been coming to the United States in small numbers for several decades. Surges occurred at the outbreak of the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s, after the Gulf War in the early 1990s and after the 2006 bombing of Iraq's al-Askari Mosque, which set off sectarian violence.

Now, an estimated quarter of the population is in refugee camps in Jordan and Syria, while 10,000 remain split between Iran and Iraq. The remainder are scattered from San Antonio to Sydney. Several thousand are thought to live in the U.S., according to Mandaean-American leaders, but no formal totals are kept.

Members of Mandaean organizations from across the globe are convening in Stockholm, Sweden, on Wednesday to discuss ways to keep their religion alive in the diaspora.

One of the focuses of the conference will be language. Linguistically, the Iraqi community has all but lost its connection to the spoken Aramaic dialect of its Mandaean forefathers.

Charles Haberl, director of the Middle East Studies Center at Rutgers University, said that while Arabic and German translations of Mandaean holy scripture are available, the young Mandaean-American community is cut off from its texts because most cannot read Iraqi Arabic even though they speak it.

''When you grow up as a Christian, you know the story of (Christianity). We can't even read the Ginze,'' the central Mandaean religious text, said Mais Mandwee, 21, of Kalamazoo. ''It's a shame.''

Suhaib Nashi, general secretary of the Mandaean Associations Union, hopes English translations of sacred texts will be produced as a short-term fix.

''I am pushing to start a quick translation establishment to change the Aramaic to English, at least to give Mandaean children some understanding of their religion so we buy some time,'' Nashi said.

Time, however, is short for the generation of U.S.-born or U.S.-raised Mandaean youth approaching marrying age: Mandaeans must marry a fellow believer in order to have Mandaean children.

''Marriage is a real pressure point for the Mandaean community,'' said Nathanial Deutsch, a professor of literature and history at the University of California Santa Cruz who has studied Mandaeans. ''First of all, there is no mechanism for conversi

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 July 01, 2009 11:02 AM

Of Interest - Ancient Iraqi sect struggles to keep culture in US 7:15 AM

FERNDALE, Mich. (AP) When the bride and groom arrive at the Mandaean Association, the Middle Eastern salad is ready and flower petals are lightly strewn across the floor.

For these Iraqis who follow the teachings of John the Baptist, weddings are an opportunity for the small community to come together as believers try to preserve their heritage far away from their ancestral homeland.

As young and old dance to American and Arabic songs inside the suburban Detroit mandi, the Mandaean house of worship, a dozen young Mandaean-Americans getting fresh air outside reflect on their role in Mandaean society: This crew of cousins is the ''next generation'' whose parents and grandparents believe will determine whether the Mandaean faith lives or dies in the United States.

''Being first generation is going to be the hardest,'' said Eva Majdob Rojas, 26, of Monroe. ''We have to either stick to those really old traditions or break the ice as individuals and get our parents to understand that.''

After more than 2,000 years of practicing their Gnostic faith almost entirely in Iraq and Iran, some Mandaean-Americans fear their ancient beliefs may fade in the U.S. unless they can agree on a cultural course that keeps traditions intact while dealing with the pressures of American society.

The world's roughly 60,000 Mandaeans have been coming to the United States in small numbers for several decades. Surges occurred at the outbreak of the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s, after the Gulf War in the early 1990s and after the 2006 bombing of Iraq's al-Askari Mosque, which set off sectarian violence.

Now, an estimated quarter of the population is in refugee camps in Jordan and Syria, while 10,000 remain split between Iran and Iraq. The remainder are scattered from San Antonio to Sydney. Several thousand are thought to live in the U.S., according to Mandaean-American leaders, but no formal totals are kept.

Members of Mandaean organizations from across the globe are convening in Stockholm, Sweden, on Wednesday to discuss ways to keep their religion alive in the diaspora.

One of the focuses of the conference will be language. Linguistically, the Iraqi community has all but lost its connection to the spoken Aramaic dialect of its Mandaean forefathers.

Charles Haberl, director of the Middle East Studies Center at Rutgers University, said that while Arabic and German translations of Mandaean holy scripture are available, the young Mandaean-American community is cut off from its texts because most cannot read Iraqi Arabic even though they speak it.

''When you grow up as a Christian, you know the story of (Christianity). We can't even read the Ginze,'' the central Mandaean religious text, said Mais Mandwee, 21, of Kalamazoo. ''It's a shame.''

Suhaib Nashi, general secretary of the Mandaean Associations Union, hopes English translations of sacred texts will be produced as a short-term fix.

''I am pushing to start a quick translation establishment to change the Aramaic to English, at least to give Mandaean children some understanding of their religion so we buy some time,'' Nashi said.

Time, however, is short for the generation of U.S.-born or U.S.-raised Mandaean youth approaching marrying age: Mandaeans must marry a fellow believer in order to have Mandaean children.

''Marriage is a real pressure point for the Mandaean community,'' said Nathanial Deutsch, a professor of literature and history at the University of California Santa Cruz who has studied Mandaeans. ''First of all, there is no mechanism for conversion. That would have to be introduced.''

Rojas was among the first of the younger generation of Mandaean-Americans in Michigan to be married. When she exchanged vows with a Mexican-American in October 2008, only one of her more than 10 uncles was in attendance.

''I didn't expect that much,'' Rojas said.

Parental understanding of mixed marriages is rare.

''The way I teach my kids: You have to get married (to) a Mandaean. I push them. This is very hard for them to understand,'' said Anees Rabie, president of the Mandaean Association of Michigan.

Still, not all younger Mandaeans revolt against their society.

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 June 17, 2009 8:54 PM

From the Field

Your Support Brings
Hope and Joy to
War-torn Iraq



Glimmers of hope and signs of stability begin
to emerge.
Read full story>>

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 June 09, 2009 2:04 PM

Family of Abducted Christian Coptic Teenager Assaulted By Muslim Mob

GMT 6-9-2009 18:17:22
Assyrian International News Agency
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Cairo (AINA) -- In another incident of abduction and forced Islamization of Coptic minor girls, 16-year old Nermeen Mitry was abducted by a Muslim man to coerce her into converting to Islam. She was successfully recovered on the same day by her family, who did their own investigation and search to locate her.

Nermeen was abducted from El-Mahalla by Muslim Hossam Hamouda in conspiracy with his aunt Leila Attia; she was hidden away by a third person called Nasser Abu Deif from Assuit in Upper Egypt, at the home of one of his female relatives called Rasha Soliman in Zagazig.

The success of recovering the Coptic girl led to anger, revenge and assaults from the disappointed village Muslims against her family. Nearly 150 Muslims, armed with swords and clubs, physically assaulted five family members of the abducted Coptic teenager, as they drove back to their village after being forced into reconciliation with the abductor's family by State Security, compromising their right to pursue the case any further. "With every blow on us, they chanted 'There is only one Allah' while the Police stood there watching the assault, until we could take no more and three of us were hospitalized," said Nermeen's uncle Sameh Mitry in an aired interview with Coptic News on 6/7/2009. "They dragged us out of the car saying "Get out you followers of the Dog's religion!' They were consumed with anger ever since we got our girl back."

The police rounded up11 Copts including the assaulted family and 14 Muslims. "The police let the real attackers go free and were just arresting people randomly," said Sameh. "We were released after 3 days except for two Copts whom the State Security held as pawns -- just in case we made any trouble they would be detained for a long time," said Sameh.

Nermeen Mitry, 16, from Toma village near El-Mahalla town, was on her way to sit for an exam on May 21, 2009, when she was lured by a Muslim female friend to go home with her where she offered her spiked tea. She regained conscious hours later to find herself facing a bearded Muslim man trying to convert her to Islam, in a far away town and another governorate in Egypt, which she later knew to be Zagazig. The traumatized girl recounted the events to Osama Eid, correspondent of the Free-Copts Organization.

"The man was very confident and told me that I would be the fourth Coptic girl to 'know the true Allah' and convert to Islam through him. He also said that a member of my family was converted 15 years ago by him. I told him I am engaged to be married when I come of age, and would never convert to Islam as this would be a catastrophe for me. He did his best to make me change my mind, and then left me alone for a while."

When Nermeen did not return home, the Mitry family went to the police. Unable to get the police to register the case as an abduction, the family subsequently went to State Security and reported the incident, but were delayed there for hours with no progress.

"Meanwhile, one of the abductor's family members contacted Nermeen's cousin Romany and told him he knew her whereabouts, and offered to accompany him to bring her back," Sameh told Coptic News. "I am sure the abductor's family knew that we would have implicated them and they were afraid. We freed the girl ourselves; State Security did nothing to help."

On their way back with Nermeen, they were contacted by the police and were told to bring the girl to State Security Directorate. Reflecting the diminished Coptic trust in all government institutions especially State Security, "we never went there, instead we took the girl straight to a Monastery to be safe there," Sameh told Coptic News. "We know quite well what Security would have done as has happened in many cases before. If she went there, they would have changed everything, closed the case and she would have gone to the other side."

"Ever since Nermeen returned the village Muslims joining the abductor's family started a terror campaign against us and all Copts in the village in general. They harassed and taunted us by saying 'we will get your girls one by one'" said Sameh. "They burnt down Nermeen's father recycled cartons warehouse. They set it on fire at dawn and went to the mosque to pray after locking its door. We contacted the Police and implicated a few people. They were released by State Security within 4 days."

Nermeen's abduction case was picked up by several Coptic human rights Organization and brought to light. Sadly and shamefully, the news agencies in Egypt, including the foreign ones, quoted the State Security as their news source. Their story was again portrayed as a 'love story' between a Muslim man and a 19-year-old Coptic girl who eloped together for two weeks. Even the governor of Gharbiah, when interviewed on the independent TV channel Al Mehwar, denied the news of any abduction and said that the sectarian

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 June 03, 2009 4:48 AM

On May 17th, 2009, Esther de Lange spoke about her activities with the Assyrian Association in Enschede (Netherlands). These were not the usual words of a politician, campaigning for the upcoming EU Parliamentary elections.. She spoke, rather, about the "Assyrians in Iraq" conference which she and her party organized in cooperation with the http://delangeadem.nl).

Nineveh University

On Sunday I visited Enschede after an invitation by the Assyrian Christians.

Many of them have fled Iraq. Together with my colleague in the National Dutch Parliament, Pieter Omtzigt, I dealt with the main theme of the meeting: The relationship of the European Union and Turkey and the situation in Iraq.

In my opinion the succesful transition to a democracy in Iraq will be fully realized only when they have built a society and a way of life in Iraq which respects the rights of the minorities. Education in their own language and their culture is undoubtly one of the elements of such a society.

With money from the European Union, we have supported the renovation of some of the schools in the Nineveh Plains, where many Assyrian Christians are living. The next ambition is their own university -- something I wholeheartedly support! This university already exists on this T-shirt, which I received from the Assyrians in Holland after our meeting. Yesterday I wore it during the meeting we had in the European Parliament. This T-shirt is a symbol for the university that we should work very hard to make a reality after the upcoming elections!

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anonymous  May 04, 2009 1:53 PM

From a Samaritan's Purse!
Samaritan's purse first began helping the Kurds in 1991, when ten's of thousands of Kurds fled from Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaign.
In recent months hundreds of Iraqi refugee's are responding to the good news of Jesus Christ. The doors are also opening for ministry in Kurtistan where ministry officials have given Samaritan's Purse permission to build a Christian Community Center and Medical Clinic.
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anonymous  February 12, 2009 9:39 AM

Promising Developments for Iraqi Christians

Many New Believers Baptized - Churches in Northern Iraq has reported that nearly 300 new believers from various non-Christian backgrounds were recently baptized.

Fifth Anniversary for Cultural and Christian Center - A few years ago Open Doors opened centers in Iraq to provide the Christian community with vocational training, assist in establishing bookshops and libraries, and to encourage Iraqis in reading.  All but one of the centers have closed due to war and instability in the country.  The remaining center celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. 

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anonymous  January 11, 2009 6:07 AM



Iraq 

 

It’s not easy to make contact with Brother Yassr. He must keep a low profile because his work with persecuted Christians in northern Iraq makes him a prime target for the extremist groups operating there. With the horrific events of recent months, Yassr needs to be even more careful. Since September 2008, radical factions in the city of Mosul have been targeting Christians. But despite the risks, Yassr has managed to keep in contact with Open Doors colleagues outside Iraq. The reports he has sent us in recent months are chilling.

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anonymous  January 01, 2009 3:56 AM

IRAQ - USCIRF RECOMMENDS DESIGNATING IRAQ AS COUNTRY OF PARTICULAR CONCERN, CALLS FOR ENSURING FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS, FOCUSING ON PLIGHT OF MOST VULNERABLE RELIGIOUS MINORITIES: The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recommends that Iraq be designated as a "country of particular concern" (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), in light of the ongoing, severe abuses of religious freedom and the Iraqi government's toleration  of these abuses, particularly abuses against Iraq's smallest, most vulnerable religious minorities.  Full Story>>  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous  December 24, 2008 7:27 AM

IRAQ - Far from their churches, homes and families, thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled to Syria, Jordan and other nearby regions due to the ongoing violence in their home country. Christmas is coming and Iraqi believers are longing for the peace of Christ to come to the land they love but is still plagued by violence - especially against the Christian community. Read more about displaced Iraqi Christians   who will be celebrating Christmas in refugee camps this year.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous  December 22, 2008 1:43 AM

Pray for the Minority Christians in Iraq IRAQ - Yesterday, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) held a press conference to update the status of religious freedom in Iraq. While the USCIRF reported in a recent press release that there has been less violence since their last report in May 2007, “[t]he situation is dire for Iraq’s smallest religious minorities, including … Christians…who face a threat to their very existence in the country.”

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 or kidnapped for money. In a mass exodus two months ago, approximately 2,000 families (a total of 10,000 Christians) fled the northern city of Mosul due to terrorism. The violence resulted in an estimated 25 to 40 Christian deaths. Hundreds remain homeless.

Open Doors is one of the major providers of Bibles and Christian materials in Iraq. Open Doors also offers language and computer classes and other vocational training for the Christian community in Iraq. We work with displaced Christians in northern Iraq, Syria and Jordan with housing, food, blankets and clothing as well as offering trauma counseling seminars.

Learn more about supporting programs for persecuted Christians in the Middle East. 
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anonymous  December 05, 2008 8:09 PM

Dear Donna Matthews,iraqi church
 
Since 2003, half of the estimated one million Iraqi Christians have left their homes because of the relentless attacks they have been facing from Islamic extremists. Many Christians have been killed in Iraq, including Christian leaders such as Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho. The body of the archbishop was found in the city of Mosul after his abduction in February 2008.
 
Most recently, over 2,000 Christian families fled from the city of Mosul and more than a dozen were killed between September and November 2008. Christian homes and properties were destroyed. This latest wave of attacks took place following a demonstration that Christians staged opposing the removal of Article 50 from the Iraqi constitution. Article 50 provided a quota that allowed the Iraqi Christians to be represented in the country's parliament. Less than a third of these families had returned to their homes by November 20.
 
The perpetrators of the attacks warned the Christians to convert to Islam or pay the jizya tax which allows non-Muslims to live in Muslim countries, or leave the city or face death. This shows the Islamists' clear intention to either kill or expel Christians from the city of Mosul.
 
Despite such widespread and systematic attacks against Iraqi Christians, their plight has largely gone unnoticed by the international community.
 
Here's How You Can Help
 
#1 Pray: The first thing you can do to help is stop right now and ask the Lord to intervene.
 
#2 Next, review our petition. Iraqi officials are concerned about their relationship with the United States and other Western countries, so when the people shout, they will listen. We have also found that evil prefers to stay hidden and when we shine the light on it, it flees.
 
#3 Electronically sign the petition by clicking here.
 
#4 Print out the petition and take it to your church and have everyone you know sign it. Send it back to us so we can present it to Secretary Rice. Feel free to print out extra signature pages for large numbers of sign ups. When you have collected all your signatures, please mail the signature pages to :
 
ICC
PO Box 10277
Silver Spring, MD 20914-0277
 
or fax them to us (301-989-1709).
 
Please get them back to us by January 10.
 
#5 Forward this email to all your email contacts and ask them to do the same.
 
Sincerely in Christ,
 
Jeff King
President, ICC
 
International Christian Concern
P.O. Box 10277
Silver Spring, MD 20914-0277
Phone: (800) ICC-5441
Fax:
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anonymous  November 26, 2008 1:24 PM

Special Prayer Request from Maria’s Father, Abdurahman*

Last week Compass Direct News reported that Maria, an Iraqi Christian girl, was released from prison for defending herself and her family from her uncle’s attack. Her uncle had cut her mother with a knife and was fiercely beating them for converting to Christianity and for “shaming” the family.

As we thank the Lord for her early release, we want to also pray for her father, Abdurahman, as he looks for a job or a way to get out of Iraq.  Abduraham converted to Christianity in 1998 and has suffered opposition from his Muslim family ever since.  Read more about Maria’s release from prison and the obstacles that her family continues to face.    

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anonymous  November 21, 2008 12:31 PM

Praise Report: Christian Girl Released Early from Prison in Iraq!

Sixteen-year-old, Asya Ahmad Muhammad (also known as Maria), was released on Nov 10. Maria was sentenced to five years in prison for defending herself and her family against her outraged uncle who attacked them for “shaming” their family by becoming Christian. Read the full update of Maria’s early release on our website. 

Listen to Carl Moeller, President of Open Doors, USA discuss Saudi Arabia’s, ‘Culture of Peace Summit.’  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous Al Qaeda is persecuting Christians in Iraq!!! October 30, 2008 7:20 PM

IRAQ CHRISTIANS FACING EVEN MORE TROUBLE IN IRAQ:  "I'm afraid it's actually getting worse." That's the word from President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller in response to the persecution affecting Christians in Iraq. Last week we reported that the violence continues to escalate, forcing more Christians to leave Iraq. Full Story>>  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous Al Qaeda is persecuting Christians in Iraq!!! October 30, 2008 7:08 PM

Moeller believes al Qaeda is one of the lead groups responsible for the attacks.

While Open Doors isn't a political organization, he's encouraging people to take political action. "This is not a political situation; this is a humanitarian crisis. And if anyone can go to our Web site, they can get the latest information so that they can send an email or their voice to the Iraqi government to intervene on behalf of Iraqi Christians."

But the most important thing Christians can do is pray. Moeller says Open Doors and other organizations are helping the victims with relief and other physical aid.

With the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church approaching Sunday, November 9, Christians need to be on their knees. "If the church in Iraq can't turn to us for prayer and material support, and for being a voice when it has no voice, then who can it turn to? The church in Iraq is like what Brother Andrew encountered in communist countries in the 1950's," says Moeller.

If you'd like to help, click here.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous  October 22, 2008 5:26 PM

Encouraging, Equipping Iraqis

Open Doors continues to work in Iraq, encouraging Christians in various ways: distributing Christian literature, offering vocational courses that include computer training, teaching non-Arabic languages and facilitating the set up of Bible-based courses. One of Open Doors’ centers is organizing spiritual meetings and events to encourage the local Iraqi Christians in their faith. While thousands of Iraqis have left the country, many are willing to stay and want to help rebuild the country. “We are filled with joy and happiness that such seminars still can be held in Iraq,” said one of the participants.

“Please pray for those Christians who remain in Iraq and continue to be marginalized,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. “Many of these Christians want to grow in their faith and also improve their skills to help rebuild their country. And Open Doors is helping them grow spiritually and in all other areas of their lives.” Read the full report on Open Doors involvement in Iraq.

Prayer Points:

  • Please continue to pray for Christians who currently live with the daily threat of violence in Orissa, India.
  • Pray that the death of the parliamentary soldier in Orissa will be a wake-up call for the government to take sufficient action in protecting its people.
  • Pray that the church leaders’ appeal in Iraq will draw upon the mercy of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to step in and stop the attacks in Mosul.
  • Pray for the Christians who are being equipped in Iraq by Open Doors and other NGO’s.  
  •  

Praying with you, 

Christina and the Prayer Force Team   

*News Source: Compass Direct News

fis_stone_sm

Open Doors USA
1-888-5-BIBLE-5
http://www.opendoorsusa.org/

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anonymous  October 22, 2008 5:20 PM

Church Leaders Plead for Help in Mosul, Iraq*

Amid escalating violence against Christians, Iraqi church leaders have appealed directly to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for increased efforts to curb the continuing attacks targeting them in Mosul. In a meeting with Al-Maliki, 10 heads of Iraqi churches urged the prime minister on Thursday, Oct. 16, to send the army to Mosul to help the approximately 1,000 police that were dispatched this past week to keep watch over Christians in the city. According to Compass Direct News, church leaders said police efforts to curb violence were insufficient and more needed to be done to stabilize the city, from which an estimated 1,500 families have fled following recent killings of Christians. Shlemon Warduni, an auxiliary bishop of the Chaldean Church in Bagdad present at the meeting, said that Al-Maliki assured the church heads that he would do whatever was in his power in cooperation with them and that he hoped to send soldiers to Mosul “immediately.”  Read the full story about the Iraqi church leaders’ plea for help on our website, and also the latest press release about the ongoing violence in Iraq.

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anonymous  August 14, 2008 11:04 AM

Every week, hundreds of Iraqi Christians make the most difficult decision of their lives--to leave their beloved homeland, and seek refuge in a foreign country.

For these believers, life in war-torn Iraq has become too much to bear. Not only have they faced the daily terror of the ongoing conflict, many have also suffered greatly for their faith.
Read more>>

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anonymous  August 01, 2008 3:21 AM

IRAQI REFUGEES STRUGGLING AFTER LEAVING HOMELAND:  As United States politics took center stage in Iraq this week, Christians are gearing up to reach out to the victims of war there.  Open Doors USA's Al Janssen says thousands of Christians have left Iraq. "More than half of all the Christians have been displaced by the conflict. Certain Muslim extremist groups have taken opportunities to persecute Christians. Sometimes it's to grab their property or to kidnap them. So people have had to flee for their lives."  Full Story>>  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous  July 30, 2008 6:06 AM

Training Church Leaders to Effectively Counsel Arabic Refugees

Many members of Iraqi Christian families in cities like Baghdad and Mosul have faced traumatic experiences, such as the loss of a loved one or a kidnapping. These experiences are often the main reason families leave their city and flee to northern Iraq, Syria or Jordan. Although they flee, the trauma often doesn’t disappear. The refugees are in great need of trauma counseling.

Most of the refugees who have relocated to Arab churches in northern Iraq, Syria and Jordan were only able to receive minimal counseling from church leaders. Though these leaders have a lot of experience in ministry, they are not trained specifically in trauma counseling. They need extra training and support. As a result, Open Doors has set up in cooperation with local Christian leaders a unique training program with foreign and Arab trainers to give the churches and Christian leaders the tools they need to handle the traumatic experiences that the refugees have faced. Read More...

Prayer Points:

  • In the Arab culture, it is not customary to talk about your feelings; pray that the Iraqi refugees will learn to seek counsel from their Christian leaders and be open about the emotional wounds they have suffered. (Proverbs 24:6)
  • Though Arab Christians know that the Bible instructs us to forgive, it is difficult to forgive a person who has hurt or killed one of their family members; pray that they will be able to forgive their enemies. (Matthew 18:21,22)
  • Praise God that He has given Open Doors this unique opportunity to serve! Pray that all Arab church leaders will be able to receive biblical training for their communities and the increasing number of refugees. (Hebrews 13:21)
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    anonymous  July 09, 2008 7:32 AM

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    anonymous  July 09, 2008 7:21 AM

    RABIY, Iraq - Even in the chin-high piles of roadside rubble, the crumbled cinderblock and the eerily empty streets of this neighborhood in western Mosul, America's top military officer sees hope. But he also sees peril and an urgent need to get the economy going — jobs, services, some semblance of regular life

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    anonymous  July 09, 2008 6:50 AM

    It was 4 p.m. on March 17, 1988 when Iraqi planes dropped eight mustard gas bombs over the wood-beamed stone houses of Nowdesheh, nestled in a green horseshoe valley near the border.

    "I saw the gas and smelled peaches," said Dara Meshkati, who was 10 years old at the time. "Then my eyes closed and I couldn't see anything. I was blind for two months."

    U.N. investigators said 13 people were killed and over 100 injured in the attack -- an event eclipsed by Iraq's chemical assault the day before that killed about 5,000 Iraqi Kurds in Halabja, 25 km (15 miles) across the frontier to the west.

    At that time, no asphalt road linked Nowdesheh with the nearest small town of Paveh, so the victims faced a jolting five-hour evacuation over a dirt track through the mountains.

    Meshkati, a pale-faced man with listless eyes, recovered his eyesight and is well enough to work in an accountant's office, but still suffers from asthma -- and psychological scars.

    "Nobody drinks water from my glasses. People here think I have a problem," he complained.

    He is just one of scores of survivors in Nowdesheh, which suffered three gas attacks in the same month of 1988, the final year of Iran's ruinous eight-year war with Saddam's Iraq.

    "We went to help the wounded," recalled Rahim Maghrouzi, 52, a surgical mask over his mouth. "We didn't realize it was chemical weapons. My skin turned red. We tried to wash our eyes with water. I still can't breathe properly and I can't work."

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    anonymous  June 30, 2008 2:13 PM

    Iraq Chuck Colson BreakPoint


    June 24, 2008

    In early June, the German television network ARD aired a film called "God and the World: The Persecuted Children of God." The "children" referred to are Iraq's largest Christian community: the Assyrians. While any attention to the plight of Iraqi Christians is welcome, I only wish that the film could have aired in the country that is in the best position to help them: the United States.

    The film tells the story of the suffering and persecution endured by Assyrian Christians through interviews with Christian refugees-or "internally displaced persons," as bureaucrats call them-who escaped the most dangerous areas.

    One Assyrian Christian who did not escape was Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul. On February 29, his car was attacked by gunmen who killed his two bodyguards and stuffed the archbishop in the trunk of their car.

    While in the trunk, Archbishop Rahho called his church and told them not to pay any ransom, because the money "would be used for killing and more evil actions." His body was found in northeast Mosul. An Al-Qaeda member was sentenced to death for his murder.

    The archbishop's death was only the most publicized attack on Christian clergy in and around Mosul. As the New York Times put it, "In the last few years, Mosul has been a difficult place for Christians."

    That is an understatement: As Lawrence Kaplan wrote in the New Republic, "Sunni, Shia, and Kurd may agree on little else, but all have made sport of brutalizing their Christian neighbors . . . ."

    Making matters even worse is that American forces did not hesitate to call on Iraqi Christians to serve as interpreters, precisely because they were Christians. Their religion made them easier to relate to. Now, Iraq's Christians are seen by extremists as "collaborators" and "crusaders."

    Conditions have gotten so bad in parts of Iraq that some Iraqi Christians now celebrate mass "in homes and sometimes, like their ancient Christian ancestors, in crypts instead."

    Anyone who knew anything about the history of the region-and its Christian minority-should have seen this coming. That is why Nina Shea of Freedom House, and others, called for special protection for Iraq's Christians. Their advice was, is, and probably will continue to be, ignored by our government and the "international community."

    The only way this will not happen is if western Christians make their voices heard. To that end, Christian Solidarity International, and others, have launched "Save Iraqi Christians."

    Their goal is to get our government to "defend religious liberty in Iraq and create conditions that allow displaced Christians and other non-Muslim minorities to return to their homeland and live and worship in peace." We ought to be using our "powerful leverage with government leaders in Baghdad and Kurdish authorities" to develop a "secure homeland province for religious minorities."

    Because without this, a Christian community that survived invasions by the Persians, Muslims, Mongols and Ottomans, might not survive the American liberation of Iraq. They certainly will not survive our indifference.

    For more information on how you can get involved with Save Iraqi Christians, visit our website, BreakPoint.org.


     

    Copyright © 2007 Prison Fellowship. Chuck Colson’s daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

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    anonymous  June 18, 2008 9:39 PM

    How would you describe the situation many Iraqi Christians are facing?

    More than a million people who are Iraqi Christians are going through a very difficult time, largely because of their faith. Many have had family members killed or kidnapped.

    There are currently an estimated 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria and another 600,000 in Jordan, a significant number of whom are Christians—and these figures are probably growing. These refugees don't have food, housing, or health care. They can't work or get an education for their children.

    There's a real opportunity for the church in the West to advocate for Christians in Iraq. Large numbers of [Iraq's indigenous Christians] have been driven out of Baghdad, Basra, and other cities. This is the homeland of Abraham. Emptying Iraq of the Christian community will dramatically change the Middle East.

    What specific goals will this caucus address?

    The purpose of the caucus is to educate Congress and the public, and to [speak out on behalf of] religious minorities—Christians being a large number of them—in the Middle East.

    We have a person within the State Department designated to look at the issue of Iraqi Christians. The House also put more money into the supplemental spending bill it passed May 15 for programs to assist vulnerable Iraqi minority groups, including Christians. The U.S. has selected the deputy chiefs of mission in our embassies in Jordan, Syria, and Beirut to address refugee issues in Jordan and Syria. The administration has also asked the Iraqi government to release some oil revenue to meet the needs of refugees.

    The caucus also intends to address the challenges faced by other religious minorities in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East, including the Copts, the Baha'is, the Yazidis, and others.

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    anonymous  June 12, 2008 5:07 AM

    Frontline Faith Trivia Answer for June 2008 A. The cradle of ancient civilization.  In additional to the cultural importance in ancient civilization, the territory of modern day Iraq factored significantly into Biblical events.  The capital city of Baghdad is located within 30 miles of ancient Babylon and the tower of Babel was also built within the modern day borders of Iraq, on the Plains of Shinar.

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    anonymous  June 12, 2008 4:25 AM

    FROM MY PERSPECTIVE
    by Carl Moeller
    President, Open Doors USA

    I know you’ll agree that there are times when the testimonies you’ll find in Frontline Faith are hard to read.

    I’m sure that, like me, you’ll be deeply moved as you read in this issue of the plight of our brothers and sisters in Iraq. I have had a chance to personally visit with them, and I can tell you the situation is almost beyond description.

    Thousands have faced trauma and upheaval as they’ve been forced to abandon their homes and begin life again in the north of the country. May their courage and perseverance be an inspiration to you as you uphold them in your prayers
    .
    Read more>

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    anonymous  June 12, 2008 4:08 AM

    For Emad and his family, it was the final straw. Living in Baghdad, they knew the daily reality of threats, bomb blasts and kidnappings—but when the letter arrived at their children’s school, they knew the time had come to leave.

    Still today, the threat makes Emad’s blood run cold. “We will kill you, you Christians, you infidels,” the letter read. “You must quit coming to school or we will bomb the school with your children in it.”


    READ the entire account>>

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    anonymous  June 05, 2008 4:06 PM

    Iraq is suffering from civil war, but simultaneously, Islamic-fundamental and criminal groups are fighting an “unofficial” religious war. Share this bulletin insert about Christians in Iraq with your small group or congregation  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  June 05, 2008 4:03 PM

    An Iraqi pastor jailed on kidnapping charges said the real reason for his arrest was religious. Read more on this story concerning the current situation for Christians in Iraq.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  June 05, 2008 3:59 PM

    Share with your congregation this bulletin insert that tells the story of Jamal, a young Kurdish man, who was searching for truths in his life.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  May 20, 2008 6:57 PM

    Well I found a group that has quite a similar name but I think we are okay because their whole name is Persecuted Christians Care Fund.
    Today is the first day I have ever seen this title, but like I first said, the titles are just different enough that I perceive no problems, however, to be on the safe side I will contact them!
    Donna
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    anonymous  May 20, 2008 6:54 PM

    Contact PCCF Our postal address

    Persecuted Christians Care Fund
    P.O. Box 2300
    Redlands, CA 92373-0761 USA

    Our street address

    Persecuted Christians Care Fund
    300 E. State Street, Suite 290
    Redlands, CA 92373-5235 USA

    Our phone, fax and email

    Telephone: 909-793-2009
    Fax: 909-793-6880
    Email PCCF now

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    anonymous  May 20, 2008 6:49 PM

    Last year he made 2 important visits to Iraq, focused on the Kurds in the north. Under Saddam Hussein, Christian Kurds were imprisoned, tortured and killed. In free Iraq there are now 15 congregations, and this missionary has met with and provided ministerial training for 12 church leaders in several towns who also work with communities of Kurds across the border in Iran and Syria. Last May he was the featured speaker at a 3-day teaching conference with over 750 believers attending. He helped dedicate a new Kurdish Christian Church and baptized 14 new converts. In the spring he also led a 4-day youth conference attended by over 200 Iraqi teenagers and young adults.

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    anonymous  May 20, 2008 6:00 PM

    Assyrian Christians recently liberated from Saddam Hussein's regime are suffering a string of deadly attacks church leaders believe are religiously motivated.

    Christians and churches have received letters in Arabic threatening that if they don't follow Islamic practice and support "the resistance," they will face the consequences: "torture, and burning or exploding the house with the family in it," says Elizabeth Kendal, researcher for the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission, in a report published by the Assist News Service.


    Mandaean Christians, who follow the teachings of John the Baptist, have been receiving the same threats and suffering the same violence, Kendal says.

    The unchecked Islamic aggression is forcing the Christians to flee, she states, citing some examples.

    On June 7, four masked men drove into the Christian Assyrian Quarters of the Dora district of Baghdad and opened fire on Assyrians going to work. Four were killed and several others wounded.

    In the afternoon, the same day, three Assyrian women were killed in another drive-by shooting as they returned home from working at the Coalition Provisional Authority.

    On 22 March, an elderly Assyrian couple was murdered in the Assyrian district. The wife was beaten to death and the husband had his throat cut.

    As WorldNetDaily reported, Ken Joseph Jr., an Assyrian who directs Assyrianchristians.com, says several developments that "bode ill for Christians in Iraq are causing believers to flee the nation."

    Facing next Wednesday's deadline for transfer of power, a temporary constitution that reads Islam is the "Official Religion of the State," and the failure to receive even one position on the Executive Council and only one ministry post – the Christians of Iraq are voting with their feet, says Joseph.

    Kendal says the Assyrian Christians greatly fear that the history of abandonment and massacre of their minority group is about to repeat itself.

    Historians regard the Assyrians as the indigenous people of Iraq. In biblical times, their homeland was centered around the Nineveh plains in Upper Mesopotamia, now northern Iraq, where they were visited by the prophet Jonah. The Assyrian Church of the East was founded in AD 33. Some 600 years later Arab invaders put the Assyrians under Muslim domination.

    Invasions over the centuries nearly eliminated them. The Assyrians fought for the Allies in World War I and were promised autonomy in their homeland upon victory. But they were abandoned to the mercy of the Ottoman Turks when the British mandate was lifted in 1932, resulting in the massacre of two-thirds of the population.

    In Saddam Hussein's secular state, the Assyrian remnant suffered severely under his discriminatory ethnic policy of Arabization.

    Related story:

    Iraqi Christians flee Islamic republic  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  April 24, 2008 6:25 AM

    Another Christian Martyr in Iraq

    To view this offer online, click here.

    Mourning Every night on the news we hear updates of violence in Iraq. The war continues and commentators debate whether American soldiers should be there or not. What we do not hear about is the plight of Christian nationals in Iraq. For them a spiritual war wages.

    When "Muhammad" first converted to Christianity from Islam, he kept his new faith a secret. In fact, the first person he told outside of his wife and son was a Christian named "Joseph." He knew the risks of sharing his faith with others in his homeland of Iraq but felt led to do so anyway. So he witnessed to his extended family. Following radical teachings of Islam, family members killed Muhammad.

    Muhammad's widow sent Muhammad's friend "Joseph" an e-mail after the martyrdom of her husband. She wrote:

    "I have bad news. Muhammad is dead. Our family killed him for sharing his new faith in Jesus Christ. I miss him dearly. Muhammad left me two important things: my son and our Bible. I'll never forget why he died. He died for Jesus. I believe Jesus will help me. Tell the people [other Christians] to pray for me."

    Muhammad's widow and son are now being supported by VOM's Families of Martyrs fund. This is perhaps VOM's most important work: reaching out to families who have been victims of severe persecution and martyrdom. Each week we learn about new cases that need our support.

    Would you like to help VOM expand this critical work? We invite you to follow the link below to learn more about VOM's Families of Martyrs fund and to make a contribution. Your support will provide for the immediate needs of our persecuted family members.

    » Help expand VOM's Families of Martyrs fund

    Thank you for your prayers and support for those persecuted for the cause of Christ. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your Christian friends and family.

    If you would like to view a list of resources on the persecuted church and online specials from VOM, please visit www.VOMBooks.com.

    This online offer is being presented by The Voice of the Martyrs. For additional information, you may contact us by clicking here or calling our order line at 800-747-0085. To view our privacy policy, click here

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    anonymous  April 23, 2008 5:58 AM

    OPEN DOORS
    Displaced Iraqis Travel by Faith

    Iraq is a country in despair and many Iraqis are on the move. Large numbers of both Muslims and Christians have been forced to leave their houses in cities like Baghdad and Mosul, and have had to say goodbye to their property along with most of their belongings.

    Many Christian Iraqis were forced to flee their communities, often with only 24 hours notice. With so little time, these Iraqis had to determine quickly where to go and what to take with them. There often is not much time for thinking about their destination or what belongings to take when terrorists only allow them 24 hours to leave their house. When facing all the emotions and frustrations of this situation, what can be packed in just one day?  Read More…
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    anonymous  April 16, 2008 3:55 AM

    IRAQ
    Assyrian Orthodox Priest Killed - VOM Sources

    On April 5, Father Youssef Adel (40), an Assyrian Orthodox priest, was shot dead by unknown assailants in the district of Karradah, Baghdad. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, "At approximately 11:30 a.m., Adel was driving to a church when gunmen in another car sped past him and opened fire. Adel was the director of a high school that was attended by both Christians and Muslims. He had been the target of threats and intimidation intended to drive him away from his post." Pray that those who mourn for Father Adel will find strength, courage and peace in Christ. Pray that believers in Iraq will set Christ apart as Lord and not be controlled by fear despite severe persecution. Also pray Christians in Iraq will forgive their persecutors. 1 Peter 3:14-17  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  April 07, 2008 9:46 PM

    BAGHDAD - Hundreds of people fled fighting in Baghdad's Shiite militia stronghold Monday as U.S. and Iraqi forces increased pressure on anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who faces an ultimatum to either disband his Mahdi Army or give up politics.
    Quote from the 'Associated Press'

    It's hard to say how many Christians are included in the fleeing from the violence but you can be sure that there will be some! This is a good time to pray for for the situation and for those who are not saved, but also for the unknown Christians who must flee to find safety, and while there is no direct news of persecution of Christians, this is a situation where this could happen.



    This post was modified from its original form on 07 Apr, 21:47  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  January 27, 2008 12:01 PM

    DO NOT FORGET TO READ THESE POST!  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  January 03, 2008 6:13 PM

    350,000 Christians have fled Iraq. Some of the countries they have fled to, are restrictive and practise persecution, such as, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
    Syria is listed as one of the top countries where Christians face real persecution.
    ref. Bob Unrus, (World Net Daily.com)

    Chaldian-Assyrian Christians have left Iraq by the thousands.
    ref. Baptist Press



    This post was modified from its original form on 03 Jan, 18:14  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  October 17, 2007 11:06 AM

    Video of beheading used to threaten Christians August 26, 2007 2:52 PM



    FAITH UNDER FIRE

    Video of beheading used to threaten Christians

    3rd-generation homeowners flee from Islamic warning

    Posted: August 16, 2007
    1:00 a.m. Eastern


    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

    An international ministry organization reaching out to Christians in Iraq
    is confirming the pressure from Muslims on Christians to abandon their
    faith or their homes is rising, with videos of actual beheadings used
    to threaten believers.


    The reports come from Open Doors USA, which has had an arm of help reaching into Iraq for several decades.

    The
    newest report from the organization describes the experience of Iraqi
    Christian dentist Shamir (a pseudonym). He got a letter condemning him
    for not being a Muslim.

    "It said that he was impure because he
    was not a Muslim. It said he should leave the country immediately or
    face the consequences. And if he and his family hadn't left their house
    within eight hours, they would die," the report said.

    "He felt
    rage and fear. Leave the house where his family lived for three
    generations! He had lived in Dora his whole life. It was the Christian
    district of Baghdad. Who did those guys think they were?" continue the
    report. "He remembered the story of one of his neighbors. They had not
    fled when the first letter appeared. After a few days, armed men came
    in and killed their dog. His neighbors left their house the same day.
    Within a few hours a Muslim family moved into the house."

    Then, the report said, "Shamir" picked up a DVD enclosed with the letter.

    "The
    DVD started with some verses from the Quran. Then he saw a young man
    sitting on his knees. The man was interrogated by an armed man wearing
    balaclavas (headgear covering the entire head, exposing only the face
    or upper part of it). The young man said he was a Christian. He lived
    and worked in Baghdad. Then the men explained to him that he was going
    to die.

    "Shamir had not heard his wife coming in. 'What are you
    watching, Shamir?' she asked, but her question went unanswered as he
    vomited. Before their eyes, the young man was beheaded. Amal was sick,
    too. 'We have to flee,' Shamir whispered. 'Pack only what is really
    necessary.'"

    Open Doors reported that within six hours Shamir
    was driving to Kurdistan with all that he possessed, completing his
    journey at an unheated home in a mountain village where his children
    cannot go to school because they don't speak the language.

    Open
    Doors spokesman Jerry Dykstra told WND that the situation is just one
    of many similar situations he's heard, and they come from reliable
    ministry sources within Iraq.

    Ministry volunteers, he said,
    report what they see and hear to various country or region directors
    for Open Doors, who forward it to the United States as part over
    "overview" reports on what is going on.

    Open Doors said it estimates about 3,000 refugees flee each day to northern Iraq, and 40 percent of those are Christians.

    "These
    figures are based on information from inside Iraq and other sources,
    but are very difficult to verify," the ministry said. "The figures are
    a good indication, however, of the present situation of the church in
    Iraq."

    The organization said historically Christian
    neighborhoods, such as Dora, now have been "religiously cleansed" of
    most Assyrian Christians.

    Christian churches also have been
    targeted by vandals, and in Mosul, a Christian told Open Doors how his
    brother-in-law had been forced to pay $4,000 a month to a Muslim group
    to continue his business.

    Then the brother-in-law was kidnapped, and his family got a demand for $600,000.

    "They
    have managed to raise $150,000 so far, but this was not enough for the
    group holding him. Negotiations were continuing with this man, but it's
    likely his brother-in-law has been murdered," Open Doors said.

    Outright murders also are haunting the Christian community.

    "On
    June 3 � Father Ragheed Keni, pastor of the Holy Spirit Church in the
    Al-Noor neighborhood of Mosul, was murdered along with his deacons by
    unidentified gunmen immediately after the Sunday Mass," Open Doors said.

    The
    organization estimates 200 million Christians worldwide suffer
    interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, and
    another 200 million to 400 million face discrimination and alienation.
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    anonymous From the Baptist Press October 13, 2007 10:18 AM

    The Chaldo-Assyrians, Iraq’s Christian minority, have been the targets of violence, apparently from Islamic militants, as the Jan. 30 election nears. The election will result in a transitional national assembly that will write a constitution and select a president in the next year. The country’s Christians make up only about three percent of Iraq’s population of 24 million, and their influence has been undermined further the last six months.

    The exodus of the Chaldo-Assyrians, primarily to Jordan and Syria, increased after a wave of five church bombings Aug. 1. Another church was bombed in September, and the Chaldo-Assyrians have been the victims of kidnappings and murders, including beheadings, in recent months. There have been reports of acid being thrown in the faces of women who were not wearing veils and shootings of workers in video and liquor stores in Christian communities. Chaldo-Assyrians also have reported receiving threats of kidnappings.

    About 40,000 Chaldo-Assyrians have fled Iraq since the August bombings, and the situation “has gotten worse,” religious liberty activist Nina Shea told Baptist Press.

    The persecution “is accelerating,” said Shea, director of the Washington-based Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom and vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. “They’re accelerating it now because this is an opportunity to drive [the Christians] out.”

    The Chaldo-Assyrians “are leaving in droves and may be the only group that is completely eradicated from Iraq,” she said.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous  October 01, 2007 7:38 AM

    THERE WILL BE MORE SO KEEP CHECKING!  [   [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
    anonymous Re: [Persecuted Christians] PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ! September 16, 2007 6:52 PM

    oh that is horrible. It makes me so angry. " these thing I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:11 ************************************** See what's new at www.aol.com  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
     September 16, 2007 6:34 PM

    Report: Christians crucified by terrorists in Iraq
    Believers in Jesus said to be nailed to crosses, tied with ropes, set ablaze

    Posted: July 17, 2007
    9:26 p.m. Eastern


    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com


    Dutch lawmaker Joel Voordewind

    Christians in Iraq, including converts from Islam and people involved in mixed-faith marriages, are being crucified by Muslim terrorists, according to a Dutch member of Parliament studying the war-torn country.

    Several Iraqi Christians "are nailed to a cross and their arms are tied up with ropes. The ropes are put on fire," Joel Voordewind told BosNewsLife, an online news agency focusing on Christians and Jews in difficult circumstances.

    According to the site, Voordewind described how a person, who "survived" a crucifixion, "even showed holes in his hands," apparently from nails.

    Voordewind said victims of the crucifixions are "in most cases Christian converts who abandoned Islam or people who, religiously speaking, are involved in mixed marriages."

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    He did not specify how many Christians have been crucified in recent weeks and months, as an official report is expected soon. Voordewind is slated to present his findings to Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen within the next few days.

    The report comes as thousands of Christians are said to be fleeing Iraq due to ongoing threats and violence against them. Just yesterday, over 80 people were killed in bomb blasts in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Most of the casualties resulted from a suicide truck bomb which detonated near the offices of the Kurdish political party led by Iraq's President Jalal Talabani.

    BosNewsLife says Voordewind was part of a Dutch delegation visiting several countries in the Mideast, including Syria, where several lawmakers held talks with the terrorist group Hamas.

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     September 16, 2007 5:56 PM

    As WND has reported, radical Islamists in the region have been documented to be using a video of an actual beheading to terrorize Christians into leaving.

    "In the past few months Christians have become a specific target," he said. "They have become targets of murder, kidnapping and torture. Sadly, there are multiple examples of this. Thirty-six of my own congregation have been kidnapped. To date, only one has been returned."

    The reasons given for the attacks including not being Muslim, and belonging to a Western religion, even though that is not accurate, he said.

    He said a safe zone with adequate supplies of food and water and the right to worship all are essential basics that should be provided. He said the conflicts continue to push Muslims toward a sense of despair with a renewal in religious observance as well as "increased aggression towards local Christians." He said it also generates a perception that the "West or Israel is response for all problems."

    Michael Youash, the project director for the Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project, also spoke to the commission, thanking the United States first "for the sacrifices … in liberating Iraq."

    "As a human rights and democracy activist and analyst I would not even be able to return there had Saddam's tyrannical regime not been removed. Indeed, none of us here today would be able to dream of a brighter future if it were not for Saddam Hussein's demise."

    But he said the instability that remains leaves religious minorities such as Christians and Jews trapped in a "nightmare."

    "This nightmare we are trying to escape in northern Iraq is not like that of Dora/Baghdad, Mosul, Basra and other major urban centers, where full-out ethnic and sectarian cleansing is taking place," he said. But even the northern Iraq, a relatively moderate area for religious minorities, the situation includes "minority persecution, government heavy-handedness, and the implementation of prejudicial policies with impunity."

    He said is isn't feasible "to list each incident of cold-blooded murder, assassination, land theft, illegal land seizure, official discrimination, summary detention, arbitrary arrest … committed with impunity."

    He described the situation there as "soft ethnic cleansing," he said.

    VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

    It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

    He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

    The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.


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    anonymous Re: [Persecuted Christians] PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ! September 16, 2007 5:52 PM

    when did that happen? ************************************** See what's new at www.aol.com  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
     September 16, 2007 5:50 PM

    FAITH UNDER FIRE
    36 church members disappear, 1 returns
    Minister warns of increased persecution of Christians

    Posted: September 1, 2007
    1:00 a.m. Eastern


    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com


    Three dozen members of one Christian church in Iraq disappeared over the course of a week, and only one returned, according to a minister who is warning of the increase of persecution of Christians in that violence-ridden nation.

    The warning from Rev. Canon Andrew White is being reported by Voice of the Martyrs, the ministry to persecuted Christians around the world.

    VOM cited an interview with White on CBNNews.com in which the Anglican minister from Baghdad was describing the conditions for Iraqi Christians for a committee on religious freedom. He said kidnappings, torture and executions of Christians are rising.

    He also noted the people's desire for Christ sometimes is overwhelming. The small church he leads in Baghdad was small, but has exploded to an attendance of more than 1,300 recently.

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    "It is an Anglican church, and none of my people are Anglicans," he said. "They simply some to church because it is the closest church to come to in the midst of great danger."

    But White said the conditions have deteriorated at an increasing pace in the past few months, and it's sometimes hard to quantify the extent of the persecution. But he said he asked members of his congregation for their perspective on the situation.

    "Things are bad for everybody in Iraq. I said them (church members); tell me what has happened over the past week. And the people went through what had happened and I realized that 36 of my congregation in that past week [had] been kidnapped," White said. Only one was returned.

    During his testimony before the commission, he said although Christianity has been present in Iraq from the "foundation" of the faith – ever since Thomas stopped off in Nineveh and converted the people of the city to Christianity – none of its historic tribulations compares to the troubles today.

    "In the past few months many Christians have had to leave their places of residence, especially in Dora on the outskirts of Baghdad," he said. "In Dora, many people were threatened with death if they did not convert to Islam or pay large sums [in Islamic tax]. There are now hundreds of Christians living in churches in Baghdad, where the provision of food and water is becoming increasingly difficult."

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    anonymous  September 14, 2007 10:47 PM

    Video of beheading used to threaten Christians August 26, 2007 2:52 PM

    FAITH UNDER FIRE

    Video of beheading used to threaten Christians

    3rd-generation homeowners flee from Islamic warning

    Posted: August 16, 2007
    1:00 a.m. Eastern


    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

    An international ministry organization reaching out to Christians in Iraq is confirming the pressure from Muslims on Christians to abandon their faith or their homes is rising, with videos of actual beheadings used to threaten believers.

    The reports come from Open Doors USA, which has had an arm of help reaching into Iraq for several decades.

    The newest report from the organization describes the experience of Iraqi Christian dentist Shamir (a pseudonym). He got a letter condemning him for not being a Muslim.

    "It said that he was impure because he was not a Muslim. It said he should leave the country immediately or face the consequences. And if he and his family hadn't left their house within eight hours, they would die," the report said.

    "He felt rage and fear. Leave the house where his family lived for three generations! He had lived in Dora his whole life. It was the Christian district of Baghdad. Who did those guys think they were?" continue the report. "He remembered the story of one of his neighbors. They had not fled when the first letter appeared. After a few days, armed men came in and killed their dog. His neighbors left their house the same day. Within a few hours a Muslim family moved into the house."

    Then, the report said, "Shamir" picked up a DVD enclosed with the letter.

    "The DVD started with some verses from the Quran. Then he saw a young man sitting on his knees. The man was interrogated by an armed man wearing balaclavas (headgear covering the entire head, exposing only the face or upper part of it). The young man said he was a Christian. He lived and worked in Baghdad. Then the men explained to him that he was going to die.

    "Shamir had not heard his wife coming in. 'What are you watching, Shamir?' she asked, but her question went unanswered as he vomited. Before their eyes, the young man was beheaded. Amal was sick, too. 'We have to flee,' Shamir whispered. 'Pack only what is really necessary.'"

    Open Doors reported that within six hours Shamir was driving to Kurdistan with all that he possessed, completing his journey at an unheated home in a mountain village where his children cannot go to school because they don't speak the language.

    Open Doors spokesman Jerry Dykstra told WND that the situation is just one of many similar situations he's heard, and they come from reliable ministry sources within Iraq.

    Ministry volunteers, he said, report what they see and hear to various country or region directors for Open Doors, who forward it to the United States as part over "overview" reports on what is going on.

    Open Doors said it estimates about 3,000 refugees flee each day to northern Iraq, and 40 percent of those are Christians.

    "These figures are based on information from inside Iraq and other sources, but are very difficult to verify," the ministry said. "The figures are a good indication, however, of the present situation of the church in Iraq."

    The organization said historically Christian neighborhoods, such as Dora, now have been "religiously cleansed" of most Assyrian Christians.

    Christian churches also have been targeted by vandals, and in Mosul, a Christian told Open Doors how his brother-in-law had been forced to pay $4,000 a month to a Muslim group to continue his business.

    Then the brother-in-law was kidnapped, and his family got a demand for $600,000.

    "They have managed to raise $150,000 so far, but this was not enough for the group holding him. Negotiations were continuing with this man, but it's likely his brother-in-law has been murdered," Open Doors said.

    Outright murders also are haunting the Christian community.

    "On June 3 � Father Ragheed Keni, pastor of the Holy Spirit Church in the Al-Noor neighborhood of Mosul, was murdered along with his deacons by unidentified gunmen immediately after the Sunday Mass," Open Doors said.

    The organization estimates 200 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, and another 200 million to 400 million face discrimination and alienation.

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    anonymous  September 14, 2007 9:56 PM

    IRAQ: COURT UPHOLDS CHRISTIAN GIRL’S MURDER SENTENCE Sunday, 5:08 PM

    Thursday July 26, 2007

    As killing was not premeditated, teenager’s sentence reduced to 3.5 years.

    Asya
    Asya Ahmad Muhammad
    ISTANBUL, July 26 (Compass Direct News) – Iraq’s Kurdish regional high court has reduced jail time for a teenager who fatally stabbed her uncle as he beat her for converting to Christianity and “shaming” the family by working in public.

    After reviewing the case for more than two months, the court in Erbil on April 30 upheld an earlier decision by Dohuk’s juvenile court that Asya Ahmad Muhammad was guilty of killing her uncle, though she acted in defense of herself and others. Clearing her of an original conviction for premeditated murder, the court reduced the 15-year-old girl’s sentence from five to three-and-a-half years.

    In a written statement submitted to the regional high court in February, Muhammad’s lawyer, Akram Al-Najar, had argued that it was incorrect to try his client for “intentional premeditated killing” under article 406 of the Iraqi penal code.

    According to Al-Najar, the high court agreed in part, changing the sentence to article 405, which covers non-premeditated intentional killing.

    Muhammad stabbed her uncle in July 2006, when he came to her family’s kitchen utensil store outside of Dohuk and began beating her, her mother and brother. After Muhammad’s mother fled the premises, Muhammad’s uncle began hitting her with one hand while tearing at her hair with the other, Al-Najar said.

    The lawyer said that his client’s head had been forced down, and that she had grabbed the first thing that her hand came to rest upon, a kitchen knife, striking blindly upwards and accidentally driving the knife through her uncle’s heart.

    “The defendant was not carrying a weapon prepared to kill,” Al-Najar told Compass. “Also, if Maria [Muhammad’s Christian name] had wanted to kill her uncle, she would have repeated the stabbing to make sure he was dead.”

    According to Al-Najar, his client should have been tried under article 411-1 of the Iraqi penal code, which prescribes three months to five years in prison for “accidental killing.”

    But local Christians said they thought Muhammad’s sentence was light, considering that it was culturally acceptable for an uncle to beat his niece.

    “She is actually very lucky that her sentence was not longer,” one Christian said. “The penalty for murder is death, though as a minor she would have been given a life sentence.”

    Muhammad’s jail time also means that she does not have to fear reprisal attacks from her relatives.

    “It will be dangerous for Maria when she gets out of jail,” Muhammad’s mother, Mayan Jaffar Ibrahim, told Compass. “We are afraid that another uncle will come again and do the same thing. We might have to change houses.”

    Muhammad’s uncle had previously tried to kill her father five times because of his conversion to Christianity, Ibrahim said. After her uncle’s death, Muhammad’s relatives, led by her grandmother, demanded that her father be killed.

    Later the grandmother agreed to “reduce” her demands, requiring a large sum of money and Muhammad’s death.

    Ibrahim said that for the past four months, their relatives, who live only 30 minutes away, have ceased to threaten them but are still angry and demanding US$60,000 to compensate for the loss of Muhammad’s uncle.

    “If released, she would have to move away from Dohuk to get away from her relatives,” lawyer Al-Najar said, echoing the family’s concerns.

    The knowledge that jail is the safest place for her daughter is of little consolation to Ibrahim, who misses Muhammad deeply.

    “Pray that Maria can get out of jail,” she said quietly as tears formed in her eyes.

    Al-Najar, who took Muhammad’s case pro bono, said that he had received two anonymous written threats prior to the initial ruling in February because of his role in defending Muhammad.

    The Chaldean lawyer said that he took Muhammad’s case because he felt that it was important for both freedom of religion and women’s rights.

    “In the Islamic religion, women should be [inside] the house,” he told Compass, citing the reason Muhammad’s uncle had given for attacking her and her mother. “It was even worse that this family had converted to Christianity.”

    Both issues are up for public debate in northern Iraq as the Kurdish government works on drafting a regional constitution. In recent months, women’s rights groups have conducted a public campaign against female genital mutilation, while Kurdish converts to Christianity have begun to discuss petitioning the government for the right to change the religion status on their identification cards.

    Kurdish leaders have taken increasing steps to meet the needs of Kurdish converts from Islam to Christianity, who now number in the hundreds. Two churches, one in Erbil and another Suleymaniyeh, have been registered with the government, and believers are able to conduct public evangelism.

    Still, converts remain unable to change the section on their ID cards that identifies them as Muslims.
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    anonymous IRAQ - CHRISTIANS THAT ARE PERSECUTED IN IRAQ! September 14, 2007 9:54 PM

    This Is A Posting Site Where You Can Post News, Information, and Other Items About The Persecution Of Christians In Iraq!
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