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[2023 Ramadan Day 23] Rising with the Gospel to be a Blessing for All Nations, God’s Hand, Iraq!

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Iraq's population is about 97% Muslim and 3% Christian or other religions, but after the mass migration of the Christian population to other countries, the current population of evangelical Christians in Iraq is only 3,000 people. Iraq, unlike other Muslim-dominated countries, has a strong Sunni and Shia ratio of 40:60, and the two sects have clashed for nearly 1,400 years.

However, the time of Ramadan is considered a sacred time for both sects and is a time when everyone adheres to traditions to maintain an image of piety and peace. In recent years, especially in the aftermath of ISIS, many Iraqis have become disillusioned with Islam and are generally cynical about religion. However, because of the demands and atmosphere of the society, even Iraqis who say they are atheists have no choice but to abide by the practices of Ramadan.

At the end of 2022, after a series of violent protests, a new government was formed in central Iraq. However, the current situation of uncertainty and the recent relationship with Iran have again made the Iraqi people anxious. There are not only threats of outside attack from Iran and Türkiye, but also civil war is starting to arise within the country. Whether religious or political, conflicts are nothing new for Iraqis and most of them lost hope for change a long time ago. While the role of the Iraqi church in this desperate situation is important, as a minority group with a long history of persecution, evangelical Christians in Iraq have largely remained silent for hundreds of years.

However, last year, a new breakthrough began. Several local young generation ministers received a strong calling from God to penetrate the heart of Iraq, City B, and traveled there to start a church planting movement. Within three months, a church of Muslim background believers was planted, and Brother A from that church began to sincerely give his life for Jesus. Currently, he is living and doing ministry with the local ministers. He began preaching the gospel and being discipled with a vision to plant a church. After receiving missions training, this brother and other trainees from City B went on a short-term mission to Country L. Brother A is now preparing to go on student missions for one year. Hallelujah! Local Christians have received the vision of 'Finish Iraq' and are praying this year to pioneer more cities, including City B and City M. And not only Iraqis, but also Syrians, Kurds, Iranians and even foreign workers from Africa and Pakistan are receiving this same vision. With the vision of bringing 300 new people to Jesus this year, ministers in E-City are developing new ministries such as social media posts, and through this we have already met many souls who have accepted Jesus and are becoming disciples. Shockingly, even converts from Sunni and Shia backgrounds are now one body in Christ, gathering weekly to worship, pray, and preach the gospel together! Through their obedience and love for Jesus, God is breaking down the spirit of rebellion and immorality in Babylon, which has ruled Iraq for thousands of years. As promised in Isaiah 19:23~25, He raised up ministers from Assyria and made them a blessing to all the nations! Amen!

[Today’s Prayer] 1. Especially this year, in these uncertain, tense times, God will protect Iraq. The people here have never experienced true peace because they have been broken by endless wars, and many people doubt the existence of God. During Ramadan this year, may they not harden their hearts toward God because of the deception of false peace, but may they seek and find the true Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ!

2. Please pray that the churches in Iraq will break through all the fears and wounds that prevent them from embracing their Muslim brothers and sisters. Through Global Alliance, may Iraqi churches desire to boldly declare their faith. May the local saints cast off their long history of persecution and fear, not compromise with Babylon, and give their lives for the fulfillment of Isaiah 19!

3. May local Christians, especially converts from Muslim backgrounds, grow in faith and love in Jesus. During Ramadan, believers are under a lot of pressure from family, friends, and society to observe Islamic customs. Feeling confused and afraid, they deny Jesus. Through true discipleship, may many Muslim background believers have a foundation in Jesus that will not be broken by any persecution and rise with faith that overcomes!


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