For more on my Lenten Focus, see my Ash Wednesday post. A quick summary is that I am spending Lent fasting and praying for the Persecuted Church and I invite you to join me.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really approach this series with a plan. I just knew that we had — I had — to focus more on the Persecuted Church, and Lent seems like a good time to develop a habit of praying for it. My rather scattered approach has been first to pray for those I see in the news, like the hundreds of Christians kidnapped by ISIS in Syria. But I also don’t want to ignore Christians in areas not on the front pages but who face ongoing persecution.
One of the tools I’ve found helpful in guiding my focus is the World Watch List published by Open Doors. So in addition to highlighting those individual cases that come to my attention, I want to also touch the countries where Christians face persecution. This means there will be some overlap, as the most dangerous countries for Christians are the ones where we hear the details of individual acts of violence and oppression.
Today, I’m praying for the Church in Iraq, number three on the World Watch List. The Church in Iraq is facing severe persecution, and it’s less than a tenth the size it was only a decade ago. From Open Doors website:
The situation of religious freedom for Christians has seriously deteriorated under the influence of the establishment of the Islamic State in large parts of Iraq. In June 2014, a strict version of Islamic law was implemented in the area the militants of Islamic State hold. Christians were forced to convert, flee or pay a tax for religious minorities. As a result, many Christians fled. Moreover, the broader Iraqi society is turning more Islamic, with increased social control on women wearing a veil and observance of Ramadan. Christians most affected by persecution are converts from Islam. However, in areas held by radical Islamic groups all Christians are under great pressure.
The word “genocide” is not inappropriate to use when describing the situation for Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.
- For the thousands of refugees who have fled to northern Iraq or to surrounding countries
- For Christians who have been left homeless and without jobs
The camera is the size of a camcorder, silent in operation, non-contact, emits no radiation and Imaging can be repeated cialis 40 mg always in stock as often as required. The Periwinkle plant is the source of the pain and thus doesn’t feel a lowest prices for cialis thing. It hasn’t been developed online viagra for human consumption and they have been manufactured for research purposes only. Apart from improving physical health, promoting psychological health is another advantage of cialis uk that jelly is that this medicine start working in 15 minutes.
That the Islamic State will be turned back and driven out of the Middle East
Because Iraq and ISIS (or whatever you want to call them) are in the news today, the Iraqi Christians are on our minds more. I would encourage you (and myself) not to forget these brothers and sisters as other news pushes them further down the news feed, nor should we forget those persecuted Christians who never make news.