Christians Caught in the Crosshairs of Iraq Attacks

Demonstrators carry Iraqi flags during demonstrations in Tahrir Square. (Reuters)

Ongoing tensions escalated recently between the U.S. and Iran following tit-for-tat attacks on Iraqi soil. See a timeline of tensions here.

On Friday, several world leaders warned of dire consequences if the situation escalates further. Following Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s death, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted, “The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.” The U.S. urged all citizens to immediately depart Iraq and sent thousands of additional troops to the region.

The Iraq attacks also put believers in the cross-hairs.

Ali* with Global Catalytic Ministries tells MNN, “Iran, and many Middle Eastern countries look at Christianity as a Western influence, and especially as a U.S. influence. So, whenever they want to… make a statement to Western culture, they always arrest Christians or do worse things… beat them, torture them, kill them.”

What happens next?

The situation is continually unfolding, and it’s hard to predict what will happen in the days to come. However, it could be further exploited by terrorist groups like Hezbollah or the Islamic State. “Now they have a mutual enemy, which is America, and they can… combine forces,” Ali explains.

“In this situation, they will put aside their differences and their hatred to attack who they hate the most together, which is America.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for God’s will to be done in this unfolding situation. If peaceful resolution is possible, pray toward this end.
  • Ask the Lord to comfort those who lost loved ones in recent attacks.
  • Pray that God will touch hearts to give to Global Catalytic Ministries’ work. Specifically, pray for training and leadership development funding, as well as new access points.