Education Report Churches in Iraq July 8, 2004 For the most part, I think Christians in the United States have been oblivious to the fact there were people in Iraq who professed the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Some may have heard Tariq Aziz profess that he was a Christian, but if they did it was probably in connection to what the press revealed about him that was negative. But there have been people in Iraq professing and living for Christ in a world of incredible hardship. Christ is alive and real in Iraq. Recently I read a report from Ravi Zacharias about a meeting in the Netherlands of the Alliance World Fellowship. (Christian & Missionary Alliance) One of the speakers at that meeting was a pastor from Iraq who told of the “triumph of the Gospel amid the fears and tragedies that punctuate daily life there.” As in other accounts of the church in places where persecution is common this pastor spoke of the “passionate prayers” that were uttered at every prayer service. Passionate prayer is something all too often missing from prayer services in America, where prayer services are even still held. We need to rediscover prayer. In a private conversation with Dr. Zacharias, that pastor said “how grateful Iraqi Christians are for the sacrifice many have paid to come to their land and free them…” The pastor on his own part was also grateful that the coming of American soldiers had made it possible for them to build a church. In Islamic occupied lands it is most often impossible to even repair existing churches, let alone build new ones. The pastor said, “We are filled with gratitude for those who have paid with their lives for this new day in our land.” Perhaps God is harvesting Iraq before the end. You will not hear of such accounts from the media who will not even tell of the wounded soldiers who want to get back to their units in Iraq. They tell you of a retention crunch due to bad moral, but I read reports that said retention has exceeded expectations. Maybe our soldiers see purpose many overlook.
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