Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Saturday 10 March 2012
Lent Prayer - Iraq
Project(s): 20-246, 20-383
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq
“The attacks on Christians continue and the world remains totally silent. It’s as if we’ve been swallowed up by the night.” These are the words of a Christian in Iraq following bomb attacks at five churches in Kirkuk in August 2011.
|An Iraqi Christian refugee
receives her monthly food parcel supplied by Barnabas Fund
Iraq’s beleaguered Christian community faces a desperate situation. Since the Gulf War in 1990-1, Christians have increasingly been targeted by Muslim extremists. When Iraq was plunged into chaos following the US-led invasion in 2003, there was a huge surge in anti-Christian threats, kidnapping and murders. Much of the violence has been centred on church buildings and church leaders, a clear message to the Christians that they are being persecuted because of their faith. Many Christians have received messages telling them to convert to Islam, leave or be killed.
Since the bloody siege at a Baghdad church in October 2010 that left more than 50 people dead, even more Christians have been murdered and Christian buildings and neighbourhoods targeted.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee their homes; the number of Christians has fallen from 1.5 million in 1990 to perhaps as low as 400,000 today. Most of the displaced Christians have fled to neighbouring countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, where they represent a disproportionately high percentage of the Iraqi refugees. Many live in desperate circumstances, because they struggle to obtain legal status and are not allowed to work.
Why not suggest that your church takes up a special collection this Easter to help Christians persecuted for their faith? Barnabas Fund supports projects that bring hope and aid to our suffering brothers and sisters in most of the countries in this booklet; some of these are listed at the foot of the pages. Just pick a country, copy the text of that page for everyone to read, and invite them to make donations for a specified project. Or maybe you could raise money for our General Fund (Ref. 00-000), which is used wherever the need is greatest, including urgent projects and those too sensitive to publicise.
Barnabas Fund projects include:
- Feeding Iraqi Christians in Iraq (Ref. 20-246)
- Feeding Iraqi Christian refugees (Ref. 20-383)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.