Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Christian Today: SEVEN CHURCHES BOMBED IN IRAQ -- "At least seven churches in Iraq were bombed Sunday in what appears to be coordinated attacks on Orthodox Christians celebrating New Year’s Eve. Mortar shells, explosive devices and car bombs were used in attacks targeting churches and monasteries in Baghdad and Mosul, according to Dubai-based Khaleej Times newspaper. At least six people were wounded, including two guards, reported Voices of Iraq news agency. In the explosion at Saint Maskinta Church in Mosul, the bomb destroyed the external wall of the church and caused panic among children and nuns inside where the church had an orphanage for girls....some Iraqi Christians are defying the violence by refusing to allow persecution to stop their worship service. At one of the bombed churches in Baghdad on Sunday, believers still met after the attack to hold the Epiphany mass. 'We have decided to continue to go to church, let them bomb us, we’ve had enough,' said 'Daniel' (name withheld for security reason) to AINA. 'It’s our country too. If they want to wipe us out, they’ll be able to do it anyway. I will die proud,' he said in defiance of increasing Christian persecution.
Christians are especially vulnerable in Iraq because they hold no political or military power. In October, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had vowed to protect and support Iraq’s Christian community."

RFE/RL: FOUR CHRISTIAN SITES BOMBED IN NORTHERN IRAQ -- "Three churches and a convent were bombed in terrorist attacks in the northern city of Mosul on January 6, Al-Sharqiyah television reported the same day. Two of the churches, the Virgin Mary Church and the Chaldean St. Paul Church, were targeted by car bombs, which left four civilians injured. The outer walls and entrances of the churches were destroyed by the blasts. Meanwhile, two explosive charges went off outside the St. Maskanta Church, destroying its outer walls. Another explosive charge targeted the Catholic Nunnery. No injuries were reported in the latter two attacks. The Washington Post reported on January 7 that one of the sites bombed was an orphanage, not a church."

Therefore, please pray:
1. For strength and courage for Iraqi followers of Christ in face of such attacks.
2. Boldness for Iraqi believers to share the love of Christ with their Muslim neighbors and enemies. (good news: more Iraqis are coming to faith in Christ in the last few years than at any other time in the country's history)
3. Believers in the West to be mobilized to care for and support their Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq.
4. An end to sectarian violence in Iraq.
5. Peace between Turkey and the Kurds.