Christians in Iraq
Today: Less than 400,000
Church bombings, attacks on Christians, and kidnappings have forced large numbers of Christians out of the country. Continue reading to learn about some of the Christians who still live in Iraq.
Lina is a 17-year-old who lives in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital. “I don’t want to leave the country because I know God has a reason for putting me here,” said Lina. “Even if I die, because I am a Christian I will be happy because I am dying for Jesus….We need to share the love of Jesus to everyone. If there is a place without the love of Jesus, it will be a very dark place and no peace or hope will exist there.”
The pastor of a church in Iraq has lived through two bombings of his church. Many people from his congregation have fled the country.
The pastor is looking for new ways to fill his church. He hopes more Muslims will decide to follow Christ. “I believe all the chairs of the church will be filled by believers from Muslim backgrounds,” the pastor said. “They are the new generation of the church.”
Fighting in Syria has driven many Syrians to refugee camps in Iraq. Most Syrians are Muslims.
But many Muslims in Iraq have ignored the Syrians, who often lack warm shelter and daily provisions. The Voice of the Martyrs sent heaters, blankets, and mattresses to help the refugees through the winter. Christians in the area distributed the gifts and shared the gospel with the Syrians. “By caring for their physical needs, they’re now more [open] to hearing the Good News of Jesus,” said one of the Christians.
“Even when the Muslim neighbors refused to help their own brothers, it was Christian outsiders who met the needs of the refugees,” said one former Muslim. “When I witnessed the love of Christians, I saw what was missing in Islam and I decided to follow Christ.”
To Think About
Read Luke 10:29–42, which is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. How are the Christians who help Syrian refugees like the good Samaritan?
For the month of May, visit www.VOMBooks.com/May2014 to find out how to sponsor Outreach Packs for Syria.
Source: May 2014 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.