Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pray for Christians in Iraq this week

Shops owned by Christians in Iraq’s
Kurdish region were attacked this month.
(Photo: YouTube image from Compass Direct News) 
Iraqi Christian leaders are calling for our prayers during the Christmas and New Year period, reports Middle East Concern. Some fear that there will be sectarian attacks during this period, especially as the country adapts to the changed security situation following the formal withdrawal of US military forces.

A number of recent incidents, in which Christians were the victims of violence, have contributed to these fears. In these incidents, whilst Christians were the victims, the precise motives of the attackers are not clear. Typically, violence in Iraq has numerous causes, including economic interests, tribal rivalries, settling of long-standing scores and religious motives.

On December 13, a Christian couple was shot dead in Mosul whilst driving. Their two young daughters, though with them at the time, were not physically injured.

On December 12, a 29-year-old man was kidnapped from his family's store in Erbil, capital of the area administered by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). He was released in a military operation after three days in captivity.

On December 2, there were attacks on a range of businesses, many of them Christian-owned, in Dohuk province within the KRG region. The attacks were perpetrated by extremist Muslims following inflammatory messages in a mosque. The security services acted to prevent further attacks in some locations (for more, click here).

In previous years, Christmas services have been cancelled in some parts of Iraq, or have been restricted to the hours of daylight, because of security concerns.

Please keep Christians in Iraq in your prayers! 

The February edition of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter will feature stories of persecuted Christians in Iraq. Sign up for your free subscription today!

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