Christians Are Struggling to Survive in Iraq

September 21, 2011

An Indigenous Ministry that works in Iraq reports that Christians are persecuted and sometimes killed. Christians are no longer protected. Many have left Iraq. Future governments will not give Christians freedom. On the other hand, there is some good news. In the past almost all Christians in Iraq were nominal and biblical Christianity was almost dead. Now people are truly getting saved. Muslims who see the brutality of their faith are hearing the gospel and some are coming to Christ. The following reports are from one missionary working in Iraq. Content to follow traditional methods of sending our own members abroad, churches are generally unaware that our Lord has moved ahead in world evangelization and left us far behind.

A second year medical school student, Q1 (all names in this report are kept confidential for their protection) accepted Christ, but his parents, who are leaders of one of the militant groups, found out. He fled to Iran. When he returned to Iraq the missionary had contact with him, encouraging him and praying with him. Unfortunately he eventually returned to his family. In his last phone call to the missionary, he mentioned that he was in danger, and sadly, it was discovered that he was killed by one of the militias.

Q2 was disturbed by the terrorism that the Sunni and Shiite practice and the brutality committed by them. Accordingly, he started listening to gospel. The native missionary regularly visited with him and soon he began to attend a house church in his area, and accepted Christ. Recently his relatives and neighbors started to persecute him. Some people tried to kidnap him, so he decided to leave the country.

Q3 was looking for a Bible and he received a copy from a library. As soon as his family discovered he was practicing the Christian faith, they started to beat him, so he ran away to Kurdistan. The missionary met him there and taught him basic truths that new believers need. The relationship with his parents improved and he returned to his home. He meets regularly with the missionary.

Q4 met the Christian missionary as he was distributing Bibles and tracts and evaluating needy families to help. The missionary told Christian Aid, “He looked like a conservative Muslim with a beard. I asked him about widows, orphans, and poor families in the region. He asked me, “Are you Christian?” I said, “Yes, I am a Christian.” He invited me into his home and said, “I am grateful to you.” I asked him why. He replied, “Three years ago, I met Christ through a believer who was visiting my brother´s house, and he gave us a Bible. I was impressed with this book.” I showed him a copy of one of the Bibles I was giving out and his Bible was just like the ones that we distribute. We thank the Lord, Who uses His children to spread His Word. We thank the Lord Jesus Christ as He touches the hearts. All the glory goes to Him.”

Q5, a technician, heard about salvation in Christ from the missionary who gave him several Bibles, along with other Christian books to distribute to those who visited his shop. The missionary said to Christian Aid, “Q5 phoned me saying that a man came to his shop and took a Bible and he started reading it. Then he returned to the shop and took other Bibles. He had many questions and wanted to meet with me. So we agreed to meet in a public place. He came with a female coworker. I sensed the thirst they both had for the Word of our Lord and the passion to know more about the Bible and what it teaches about finding God´s love, peace, and hope and to have eternal life. At the end I asked them if they were able to see that the Bible is the Truth and if they were ready to accept Christ to be their Lord. “Certainly,“ they replied. Praise to the Lord that on April 14th, 2011, we started our first discipleship class with them, and they eagerly affirmed that Jesus Christ was the Lord of their lives. They prayed with me and thanked me a lot. To God goes the glory.”

Another incident was shared by the missionary. “We started discipleship courses with Q6 and his sister. We praise the Lord they have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Today they are reading the Bible at home and attending the church with me. This month, Q6 came to me saying that his cousin, who arrived recently from abroad, was interested in studying the Bible, and he is certain that the message of salvation is true. This cousin believes that Christianity and the Holy Bible are the Truth. I met him and gave him some books. He was able to attend one discipleship session with us. Remember him in your prayers. The mentioned brother and his sister are giving out a large quantity of Christian books because their lives were changed by the sweetness of the Word of God.”

Christian Aid continues to send help to this ministry. The missionary reports that there is a limited window of time to preach the gospel in Iraq. Funds are needed for Bibles and Christian literature.