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According to the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), the Assyrian website http://www.ankawa.com/ has reported that a 14 year old Assyrian boy, Ayad Tariq, was beheaded by Muslim militants in Baqouba, Iraq on October 21.

At approximately 6:00 a.m., while Ayad was beginning his twelve hour shift of maintaining an electrical generator, a group of disguised Muslim militants approached him and asked to see his identification. According to an employee who witnessed the events, when the Muslims saw that his identification noted him as "Christian," they asked him if he was truly a "Christian sinner." Ayad replied, "Yes, I am a Christian but not a sinner." The insurgents responded that this is a "dirty Christian sinner!" They then threw him to the ground, held down his arms and legs, and shouting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is great), they beheaded him.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will work through Ayad's story and bring many of his neighbors and friends to Christ (Romans 12:14, 21). Pray that the murderers will find forgiveness in Christ as Saul the persecutor did (Acts 9:1-19).

For more information on the persecution facing Christians in Iraq, click here.

Current Ministry Project

By working with credible ministry partners, VOMC is providing persecuted Christian women sewing skills training so they can receive a sustainable source of income and thus adequately support their families. In addition, these women are able to seize the opportunities presented to them through their new businesses by serving as effective witnesses for Christ.

Project Fund: Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
39,650,145 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Arab (75-80), Kurdish (15-20), Turkoman, Assyrian, and other (5)

Religion (%)
Islam (95-98), Christianity (1), other (1-4)

Leader
President Barham Salih (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system

Mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Iraq

Pray for the protection of the remaining believers in Iraq during this time of upheaval and danger. May many churches and Christian relief organizations seize the opportunity to provide greatly needed assistance and ministry to the numerous suffering people of this war-torn nation. As God’s work of healing, provision and restoration takes place, pray that a stable democratic government will be established.

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