No Peace at Christmas for Iraqi Christians

CW Iraq Peace.jpg
No Peace on Earth for Iraqi Christians

This just in from Iraq.
From: Middle East Concern
Date: December 22, 2010 6:39:59 PM EST
To: Len Rodgers
Subject: Iraq: Fears of attacks on Christians over Christmas period

CIRCULATION CODE 3. OPEN. May be circulated to general mailing lists, outside organisations, and quoted from freely in reports citing “Middle East Concern” as the source of the information.

Greetings in the name of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us

In Iraq, many church services over the Christmas period have been cancelled in the cities of Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk after threats of attacks were posted on the websites of armed groups. The decision was taken after the threats were repeated on Tuesday 22nd. Churches in these cities have decided not to erect any Christmas decorations, and have cancelled all services during the hours of darkness. Christian communities have lived with intense fear since 58 people were killed during an attack on the Syrian Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad on 31st October.

The UN estimates that 1,000 Christian families have fled from Baghdad and Mosul to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq since the attack on 31st October.

The authorities are endeavoring to provide what protection they can, including constructing tall concrete barriers around church buildings with airport-style security at the entrances.

One of the threats called for the release of two women whom extremists in Egypt claim are being held against their will by Egyptian church leaders. The extremists claim that the two ladies have converted to Islam. Egyptian church leaders have consistently denied the claims, as have Egyptian government officials. However, extremists in Iraq are using the claims as a justification for their planned attacks.

Iraqi Christian leaders request our prayers that:
a. All Iraqi Christians will know the peace of Jesus at this time
b. There will be no attacks on Christians or church buildings over the Christmas period
c. Church leaders will know the Spirit’s guiding wisdom concerning all activities
d. Those seeking to harm Christians will be convicted by the Spirit, know the truth about the Son and be drawn to the Father’s forgiveness and love
e. The truth will become widely accepted concerning the claims against Egyptian Church leaders.

Open source used: Associated Press

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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