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Despite violence in Iraq, believers stay in Baghdad

Iraq (MNN) — The worst violence in Iraq in two years appears to be settling down in Baghdad. More than 100 people have died and thousands are wounded, according to Reuters. Iraq’s government is trying to appease protestors unhappy with corruption and insufficient services.

A worker we’ll call “Jane” serves with prayer ministry Cry Out Now. She says believers are staying put despite Baghdad’s unrest. “There is a growing Church in Iraq. Yes, Iraq has been devastated in the past and a lot of believers had [left],” Jane says.

“At the same time, there are still believers in the country that [have] chosen to stay, and continue carrying the light of Jesus in the city.”

How to pray for Iraq

Islamic State destruction_April 2017

This image was taken in April 2017 during a UNESCO mission to Nineveh, Iraq, which was heavily destroyed and excavated by ISIS.
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Iraq sits at #13 on Open Doors’ World Watch List – a ranking of 50 nations with the worst persecution of Christians. The territorial defeat of ISIS reduced nationwide persecution, and some believers are returning to their homeland. However, Islamic oppression remains a threat to all Iraqi Christians.

“The Church in Iraq is specifically a group that we can be praying for, that God will continue to strengthen them, continue to give them the perseverance,” Jane says.

“They want to see God’s kingdom come into the land…they definitely need our prayers, and especially in this time.”

Pray for an end to violence in Iraq and pray for Gospel growth. Pray Iraqi believers can courageously stand firm in their faith despite persecution and terror.

“Things are going wrong, but they will be the ones that keep on shining the light in the midst of the darkness.”

Here’s another prayer resource from our sister ministry, Prayercast.

Prayer warriors need prayer, too

1871 painting depicts Aaron and Hur supporting Moses as he intercedes for the armies of Israel.
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Cry Out is a network of prayer warriors interceding for the Near East region – Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. “There’s always horrible things happening in this region. Lebanon is having financial crises; Iraq had riots – people got shot at and killed. Syria’s in the news with Turkey wanting to set up a safe zone,” Jane says.

“The intercessors that carry these lands on their hearts are weighed down because of the brokenness. We need to pray for them that they won’t be overwhelmed.”

Exodus 17:10-13 describes the importance of intercession in spiritual battles. Just as Moses prayed for Joshua and his warriors fighting a physical battle, “the intercessor is the one standing on the hill with his hands in the air, and praying and interceding for the (spiritual) battle that’s going on [below] him in the valley,” Jane says.

“But, the intercessor’s arms get tired, and then you need the Aaron and the Hur [who] can come alongside [to provide help and support].”

So, pray for the prayer warriors, Jane requests. Pray “that they will continually sit at the throne, and at the feet of the Father, to see what He sees when He looks at these lands and to pray the things that are on His heart.”

Then, commit to praying alongside them for the Near East region. Get prayer requests and resources here.

Header image is a screenshot courtesy of Prayercast | Iraq.

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