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Continuing violence against Christians in Iraq has continued with the kidnapping of two Chaldean priests in the past two weeks and the kidnapping and murder of a Presbyterian elder.

On November 19, Father Douglas Yousef Al-Bazy was kidnapped but released unharmed nine days later. On December 4, another priest, Samy Al Raiys, was grabbed only metres from his home. There have been no reports yet of demands.

While the reasons for the kidnappings of the Chaldean priests are not yet known, the kidnappers of a Presbyterian elder on November 26 are reported to have said, "We will cut his throat. We will take revenge for the Pope's words. We will take revenge on all of you. We will kill all the Christians, and we will start with him."

Mosul, Iraq
Elder Munthir (69) was returning from leading worship at the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Mosul when armed men grabbed him in front of his home. The kidnappers initially demanded one million dollars and negotiated with the Munthir's family using his cell phone. After three days, they suddenly cut off all negotiations. His body was found on the morning of November 30. He was killed by a single bullet to the head.

Pray that the killing and abductions of Christians in Iraq will cease. Ask God to comfort Elder Munthir's loved ones during their grief. Pray that Iraqi Christians will be strengthened to follow in his example of faithfulness to Christ at all cost (1 Corinthians 4:9-14,16).

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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Iraq News

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