Day 9: Iraq
Series: 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims and Christians – 2016 Ramadan
Presented in American Sign Language, no voice interpretation.
The area of present-day Iraq has been important for thousands of years – even before Christ. The Mesopotamia region comprised the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and included the biblical city of Nineveh and also Babylon as a political and economic center. More recently, Baghdad was a famous university city and the center of art and science. After recent conflicts and bombings in the area, none of this has remained. Two years ago, the extremist group Islamic State has invaded large parts of Iraq, including its second largest city in the country, Mosul.
Islamic State is routinely terrorizing Iraqi Christians and other ethnic people groups such as the Yezidis and even fellow Muslims unwilling to submit to their ideology with expulsion, murder and enslavement. The Shia and Sunni Muslims are fighting against each other. Hostility continues to divide the nation. There are many people groups such as the Turkmen, Shabak, and Kaka’i who are discriminated by the majority population. The Kurds are now strengthening the occupied area of their semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq, which makes many Iraqi Arabs uncomfortable.
Thousands are exiled out of the Iraqi region due to recent conflict with the Islamic State, and are living in refugee camps hoping that they will one day return back home. They are seeking safety in the West, and there is no end in sight for chaos that has engulfed the region. Christians are also being systematically persecuted for their beliefs and are fleeing the country.
In spite of all this, there are some Christians who are faithful in showing Christ’s love to Muslims and Yezidis in practical ways by offering food, blankets or counseling. Out of chaos, there are glimpses of a new Kingdom that is not of the earth.
– Pray that those who have been affected and grieved by the war will experience God’s mercy and comfort.
– Pray that a stable state can be created where all minorities are respected and welcomed.
– Pray that Christians in the area will persevere in their faith so that many will find Christ.