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IRAQ

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on 16 March 2014

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Transcript of IRAQ

IRAQ (4th on Worldwide Watch list)
A prayer
Sovereign Lord, we pray for Iraq and especially for its churches as the nation continues to be rocked by almost relentless sectarian violence. We pray that the success of a resurgent al-Qaeda in reclaiming vast swathes of the country through its terrorist activities will be arrested and reversed, and that You will comfort those injured or bereaved by their attacks in 2013. We pray for Iraqi Christians, remembering their grievous suffering throughout the last decade: for the loved ones of the more than 1,000 who have been killed; for the estimated 850,000 who have left the country; and for the approximately 60 churches that have seen their buildings attacked. We pray that the Iraqi government will finally be able to establish peace and stability, and that there will be a future for the Church in Iraq.
Deep divisions
Kurd v Arab
Sunni v Shia
Muslims v minorities
Secular Baathists v Islamists
Representative government now exists
Reforms being implemented

Iraqi evangelicals grown from a few hundred to 53,000

Kurdish church emerging
But still needed
Accountable government
Economic growth
Religious freedom
Healing from trauma
Elimination of corruption
Protection of women
Children-water, food, schooling.
Casualties and suffering
The vast majority have always been civilian casualties
600,000
dead
2 million
displaced
Religion
Saddam was a Pan-Arab socialist. Since 2003 Islamists have persecuted minorities with mass exodus of ancient christian churchpeople.
ISLAM 96%
Christian 1.6% ( 1/2 m) mainly catholic or orthodox
Evangelicals 50,000 (Anglicans growing fast)
Politics
Saddam Hussein was dictator from 1958 till his overthrow in 2003. He built up a massive army, repressed Kurds and Shias and fought Iran for 8 years, and invaded Kuwait in 1990 which led to UN invasion and sanctions. US invaded in 2003 alledging weapons of mass destruction. Very difficult to govern.
Fertile plains of Tigris and Euphrates
Ordnary people have suffered most and been impoverished by tyranny, war, corruption, armed factions
Baghdad
Site of the most ancient civilizations (Mesopotamia) where Abraham originated.
Population 36 million
Other major cities Mosul 1.5m, Irbil (Kurdish) 1m and Basra 1m
Baghdad 6 million

Peoples
Shia Arabs dominate

Peoples Arab 75%
Iranian-Median (Kurds) 22%
Literacy 40%
83% under age 40
Economy-oil based.
High unemployment

Positives
President Nouri al-Maliki
Only the gospel can unite, heal and bring justice.
Islamic insurgents continue to unleash terror against foreign troops, government and any perceived collaborators. Rival Sunni and Shia factions turn on each other. The "trigger line" where Arab and Kurdish areas meet is the most violent place. Peace is now the responsibility of Iraqis.
THE CHURCH
Most have fled persecution to Syria, Jordan or the West. Pray for the preservation of Iraq's Biblical heritage and for the restoration and reformation of this ancient church and for their faith to endure.
THE CHURCH
Badly needs gifted leaders to teach and disciple, for the return of some and development of new ones and for the protection of all who shepherd God's people in the country.

Recent Kurdish Bible available. More materials needed in dialects.
Christian literature in great demand-commentaries, study books, Bibles.
Use of media (Satellite TV/radio)

Muslim converts especially need our prayers
Expat Christians being monitored
Workers supporting displaced practically and spiritually.
Needy People groups

Marsh Arabs (decimated by Saddam)
Bedouin 1.4 million
Turkmen
Yazidi (see Joshua project)
Domari (Gypsy)
Mandeans
One of the aims of these insurgents is to rid the country of Christians and every few days one is kidnapped, raped , tortured or killed.
Full transcript