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[Today’s Prayer] Iraq takes away church assets… repeal of the protection statute

The American Christian Post (CP) reported that the Iraqi president has recognised Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako as the head of the Chaldean church and has repealed a decree protecting the assets of local Christians.

According to the English version of Ludau, an Iraqi Kurdish broadcaster, on the 3rd, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid officially withdrew Special Presidential Decree No. 147 issued by former President Jalal Talabani in 2013.

The decree officially recognised Cardinal Sakho as the head of the Chaldean Church, Iraq’s oldest Christian community, and gave him authority to administer the Chaldean Church’s property.

According to reports, President Rashid withdrew the decree due to pressure from Rayan al-Kildani, leader of the Babylon Movement, a Chaldean Catholic political party in Iraq. Currently, the party if affiliated with the Iranian-backed Mobilisation Force and a militia affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

However, Rashid refuted in a statement that the repeal of the statute was not aimed at any specific person.

When the Islamic State (IS) armed forces took control of Iraq, Cardinal Sakho is known for bringing international attention to the plight of Iraqi Christians. At the time, because of IS, half of Iraq’s 1 million Catholics had to escape persecution by extremist Sunni forces.

Critics of the withdrawal of Act 147 fear that the decision will be used by the Iraqi government to plunder Christian heritage.

Diya Butrus Slewa, a human rights activist in Ainkawa, a Christian settlement north of Erbil said, “This is a political ploy to deport and take what Christians have left behind in Iraq and Baghdad.” He also added that, “Unfortunately, it is directly aimed at Christians. They are threatening their rights.” Residents of this area held a protest in front of St. Joseph’s Cathedral on the morning of the 13th.

Protestor Emad Hanna, however, claimed that it was “Kildani-led militias” who pressured the president to rescind the decree.

Source: Christian Today

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)

We hear unfortunate news that Iraq has repealed a decree that has protected the property of local Christians and churches.

Lord, protect those who fear that this decision could be used by the Iraqi government to plunder their Christian heritage. We believe that the Lord was with us even during the difficult times when half of the 1 million people ran away to escape persecution by extremist Sunnis due to the long Iraqi civil war and ISIS. Furthermore, even though the Church’s assets are in danger of being taken away, please protect the hearts of Iraqi Christians with your mighty arms. Even if the assets of the church are taken away, let it be a church that testifies that the assets of faith can never be taken away.

Let us declare that we deserve to obey God rather people, and let the Iraqi church stand even more in front of the gospel.

Let us boldly preach the gospel in the face of any hardships and persecutions so that we can fulfil the role of the light and salt of Iraq.

So, while looking forward to the day when Jesus Christ will return, let the Iraqi church preach the gospel to Arabs and other nations to overcome and have victory!


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