ANOTHER ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTER KILLED AMIDST IRAQ’S SPIRALLING CHAOS

Iraqi demonstrators chant slogans during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf

On Monday, the 10th of February, government officials confirmed that Iraqi security forces shot and killed at least one protester in the country’s south. Anti-government protests have entered their fifth month and have continued despite the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in November, and last week’s naming of Mohammed Allawi as designated prime minister. Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, with his almost cult-like following, and well-armed militia has added to the growing chaos with his shifting stance on the protests. His conflicting messages has fuelled tensions between anti-government demonstrators and the cleric’s followers. At least eight protesters were killed in Najaf last week, when followers of al-Sadr stormed the gathering and fired on protesters.

From a Christian perspective, the ominous similarities between the current spiralling chaos in Iraq, and the early stages of neighbouring Syria’s drawn out bloody conflict, does not bode well for Iraqi’s depleted Christian remnant. The Christians of Iraq are considered to be one of the oldest continuous Christian communities in the world. Before the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, there was an estimated 1.4 million Christians, over 6 percent of the population. Today, however, fewer than 250,000 remain—an 80 percent drop in less than two decades.

Pray with us for the following:

  • For the stabilisation of Iraq’s current political climate
  • For the strengthening and encouragement of Iraq’s imperilled Christian minority
  • For believers to be ambassadors of hope and truth to the masses of disillusioned Iraqis

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PHOTO: REUTERS/ ALAA AL-MARJANI

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