Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Only 6,649 People Groups to Go!


In Revelation 5:9, John writes of Christ,

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

As of 2009, there are 6,649 people groups who have not yet heard of Christ. To be gospel-driven is to be mission-minded.

Paul tells us in Galatians 1:16 that the gospel and mission are inseparable. God the Father, Paul says was “pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles.”

As we seek to saturate ourselves in the Good News of Christ, may we like Paul come to understand that one of the grand purposes of the gospel is to be sent on mission.

May the gospel compel our hearts to pray for this unfinished task of reaching these 6,649 unreached people groups.

For more detailed information see The Joshua Project.

In Other News

Romanian church reaches Filipino women View article…

Malaysia to allow Christians to use ‘Allah’

Though the Catholic publication has been granted the right to use the word “allah,” in its Bahasa Malay edition so long as they print “For Christians Only” on the cover, the Catholic Herald will still push for that limitation to be lifted, as well. View article…

Iraq: Christian leader warns against security “vacuum”

An Iraqi Christian leader warned the allied forces not to create security vacuum when they leave Iraq. Christian and other minorities should continue to be protected against violence. View article…

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NEWS ALERT: Religious Clashes Kill 11 In Nigeria; Thousands Displaced

“Sunday morning, [for instance] [sic], around 2 a.m. local time at least two churches were engulfed by flames,” View article…


Indian Missionaries Released on Bail

Eleven Gospel for Asia missionaries who were arrested February 17 after being beaten by anti-Christian radicals have been released on bail. The missionaries were arrested as they were wrapping up the second day of a three-day believers convention in the Korba district of Chhattisgarh, India. View article…

Crackdown on Christians in Myanmar

At least 100 churches have been recently order to cease holding services in Burma. At least 50 pastors have been forced to sign documents saying they would not hold services on threat of imprisonment. View article…

China Releases Four House Church Leaders

The four underground church leaders detained earlier this week along with over 60 others attending an evangelical seminar have been released. Though the others had been released earlier, China Aid attributes the release of these four to international media attention, worldwide prayer, and other international pressure. View article…

Iraq’s ‘Safe Haven’ a Refuge from Torture

“The guards were yelling and shouting, asking me to renounce my faith in Jesus Christ. I said no. They said I had committed a crime by leaving Islam. I told them I would not go back. They kept hitting me,” View article…

Pastor arrested in Madhya Pradesh

Rev. Venkata Rao Paulose, Founder of Pine Mount English Medium School organized a three days prayer meeting in the School Compound, Sanjay Nagar Colong, Anupur, Madhya Pradesh starting from 16th to 18th Jan 2009.

Rev. Venkata Rao Paulose is pastoring Pentecostal Church of God, invited few guest speakers for the prayer meeting. During the meeting without their knowledge two persons were selling books near the School compound. Some RSS/Bajrang Dal activists purchased few copies of a book from there and took it to Chachai Police Station and lodged a complaint against Rev. Venkata Rao Paulose. Immediately the policemen came to Rev. Venkata’s house and asked him to come to the police station for an enquiry.
The next day on 19th Monday morning Rev. Venkata Rao had gone to the police station and gave a statement of the incident.

After proper investigation, the police arrested the persons who were involved in the selling of books. One of them has been bailed and other did not get bail and was shifted to Shadol Court.

On 25th Feb 2009 around 8.30 am Rev. Venkata Rao Paulose was arrested and was taken to Chachai police station for the same case. He was arrested in spite of the persons who were arrested confessed for selling the books. Later Rev. Venkata Rao was taken to Anupur Court. The Court refused to give bail because other person who was accused was in Shadol and they directed him to Shadol court. At present Rev. Venkata Rao is in Chachai police station.

Rev. Venkata Rao Paulose is ministering to 150 members in Sanjay Nagar Colony from 1992.

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Iran persecutes religious minorities

Iran (MNN) ― Iran is fighting off accusations of persecuting the small sect of the Baha’i. The government arrested seven leaders of the Baha’i community nine months ago. 

The group went to prison, and access to legal counsel was denied. In a pattern true to form, the Iranian government has since charged them with espionage.

At the same time, according to Compass Direct, the case is still open against two converts from Islam: Jamal Galishorani and his wife, Nadereh Jamali.

Although they were arrested January 21, they have been released on bail, but there’s been no word on formal charges. 

That’s not necessarily a good thing. Iranian Christians and rights agencies have feared that they could be charged with “apostasy,” or leaving Islam — potentially punishable by execution in the Shia Islamic republic….

For the rest of the article, please visit   Web site

Muslim youth vandalize Christian bookstore twice within five days

Turkey (MNN) ― Voice of the Martyrs Canada says that a Christian bookstore in Turkey was vandalized twice within recent weeks, according to a report from Compass Direct News.

On February 7, glass in the front door of the Soz Kitapevi bookshop was smashed and the security camera mangled. Damages were repaired, and security cameras captured two Muslim youth as they kicked and shattered glass in the storefront’s window and door five days later. The unidentified youths also damaged the door frame. Using the security footage, police are attempting to identify culprits.

Muslim neighbors are generally accepting of the bookstore, although employees have faced threats in the past. Last November, a man reportedly walked into the shop and began accusing the shop of working with the CIA to harm Muslims.

“You work with them, killing people in Muslim countries, harming Muslim countries,” said the man. Pray that attacks against the bookstore would stop.

Evangelism isn’t specifically forbidden in Turkey, but authorities view it with high suspicion. Police arrest those who evangelize with charges of disturbing the peace, “insulting Islam,” or conducting illegal educational courses. Worship services are only permitted in buildings “created for this purpose,” and building construction by minority religions has been resisted by officials. Those who are bold enough to declare their faith face harassment, threats, and imprisonment.

VOM Canada supports Turkish believers with encouraging radio broadcasts and provides assistance for Christian workers who share the Gospel with their neighbors.

Ask God to protect believers in Turkey. Pray, also, that these acts of vandalism will not develop into more serious attacks. To learn more about persecution in Turkey, visit VOM Canada’s Web site by clicking here

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Iraqi Christians Jittery After the Murder of Two Christians

By Success Kanayo Uchime
Special to ASSIST News Service

MOSUL, IRAQ (ANS) — Tension has continued to rise among Christians in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq over the recent murder of two Christian sisters.

In a statement by Release International (RI), gunmen shot one of the women outside her home in Al Qahira district, before storming the house, killing her sister and wounding their mother.

“The assailants planted a bomb in the entrance to the house before leaving and the device exploded when police arrived at the scene, injuring several officers,” the report said.

According to the report, thousands of Christians fled Mosul after a spate of killings and attacks on their community in September and October 2008 and that some were starting to return home as security seemed to be improving.

But the recent killing by some Muslim fundamentalists has created serious tension in the city thereby worsening any hope of peace returning in the region and Christians across Iraq are angry about a new electoral law which gives them only three seats out of a total of 440 available on provincial councils.

The report has it that the legislation, signed by President Jalal Talabani earlier this month, fell a long way short of earlier promises that 13 seats would be reserved for the Christian community.

To make the matter worse, the government said it will use the new legislation only to renew provincial councils’ in January’s elections and that thereafter it will conduct a census to review quotas.

In his reaction the auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Shlemon Warduni, expressed dismay over the issue stating that; “It is meaningless to deny representation today whilst pledging equality for later.”

Other Iraq Articles: View article…, View article…

Videos Show Muslims Storming Church in Egypt

Thousands of Muslims who stormed a church in Ain Shams, Cairo, on Sunday and set fire to the building, are seen in two videos on a news agency website.View article…

20,000 Muslims Attack a Church in Cairo, Trapping a Thousand Christian Worshippers Inside

View article…, View article…,

Going Rate to Kill a Pastor in India: 250 Dollars

Hindu extremist groups are offering money, food and alcohol to anyone who murders Christians and destroys their homes.

View article…

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Persecuted Church

Iraq: Fleeing Christians Face New Hardships In Turkey

As renewed violence in Mosul halts return, refugees wait in Turkish legal limbo.

ISTANBUL, (Compass Direct News) – In 99-percent Muslim Turkey, most Iraqi refugees are not Muslims. A middle-aged Iraqi refugee in Istanbul who fled Mosul five months ago said the only hope for his fellow expatriates is for Western countries to open their doors to Christian Iraqi refugees. “We don’t have hope,” he said. “If these doors aren’t opened, we will be killed.” Weeks after the mass exodus of Mosul Christians to surrounding villages, Turkey and other nations, around one-third of families have returned. But those returning Christians were shaken again on Wednesday (Nov. 12), when Islamic militants stormed into the house of two Syrian Catholic sisters, Lamia’a Sabih and Wala’a Saloha, killing them and severely injuring their mother. They then bombed their house and detonated a second explosive when police arrived, which killed three more. The Christian family had recently returned after having fled Mosul. Many believe this attack will deter other Christians from returning to Mosul, and there are reports of Christians again leaving the area.

Somalia: An On-going, Overlooked Crisis

The conditions for Christians in war-torn Somalia have continued to deteriorate. Yet despite all the difficulties, Christian workers continue to faithfully labor among the Somali people.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/lausanneworldpulse/lmah/~4/438722814 View article…

Looking Ahead and Up as Christians Are Persecuted in Iraq

Christians and persecution: from Baghdad to Nineveh and Mosul.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/lausanneworldpulse/lmah/~4/438722815 View article…

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Two Christian Sisters Killed in Mosul

Two Christian sisters were killed this morning in the Al Qahira section in Mosul, Iraq, by Islamic terrorists for just being Christians. View article…


Orissa Bishops Warn State Leader of  “Master Plan” to Wipe Out Christianity

Denouncing what they called a “master plan” to wipe out Christianity, the bishops of India’s troubled Orissa region have written a letter to the state’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik concerning the persecution of Christians at the hands of Hindu… View article…


Hope and rest comes to harassed church leaders in Azerbaijan

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Arab World

Christians Are Being Persecuted in Most Arab Countries

Today MEMRI has an article that I’d like you to read in its entirety –   Columnist: Muslims Are Harming Christian Culture

“However, the string of murders and expulsions of Christians, which has been going on for several months, is by far the most grievous – [and] it [must be taken as] a warning that hostility and crimes against minorities may spread to the neighboring countries [as well].
“Christians are being persecuted not only in Iraq, but in most Arab countries, regardless of their numbers there. They are subjected to every possible kind of discrimination, as well as expulsion. The problem is that it is not only Arab officials who are remaining silent [in the face of these crimes] – [they do so] because their primitive mentality is centered on the cult of the ruler – but, alarmingly, so are Arab intellectuals, the elites, non-government organizations, and leaders of the private sector. All these groups look on at these unprecedented [acts of] folly without apprehending the danger with which these crimes are fraught.

“Statistics show that in 2005 the number of Christians in Iraq was as high as 800,000. By early 2008, it had dropped by half, [indicating] that 50 percent of Iraqi Christians had been expelled from their homes and lands.

“Today, this problem is also rampant in Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, and Palestine – and while the situation may be slightly different in Palestine, the trend is the same.

“Let us be honest with ourselves and courageously say out loud that Palestinian Christians are taking many severe blows, yet are suffering in silence so as not to attract attention. I do not refer here to the suffering caused by the occupation… but to actions of the past 20 years at least – that is, since the beginning of the occupation in 1967 – involving the confiscation of Christian property, especially in Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Al-Birah.

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