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Please Pray for All the People in Iraq!! Pray especially for the Assyrian Christians and all who suffer persecution. Pray that the Lord will save and protect many.
The End of Christianity in Iraq
The news from Iraq has been especially grim of late. Daily it seems violent death is everywhere in the form of car bombings at mosques and other public facilities, ethnic cleansing carried out by militias roving about the streets seeking victims, even soldiers and police doubling as sectarian enforcers. The statistics themselves tell a grim tale. Baghdad's morgue is receiving nearly twice as many dead Iraqis each day as it did last year. In June 2005, the Baghdad morgue was receiving 700 to 800 bodies a month, or an average of between 24 to 26 a day. In July of 2006, this number has shot up to an astounding 50.
This increase in the death toll is happening despite two events that were supposed to reduce the level of violence. First, almost 100,000 new U.S.-trained troops have been added since last year. Second, the U.S. military has an ongoing security "clampdown" in Baghdad designed to reign in the violence in the capital. Unfortunately, both the new troops and the "clampdown" have failed so blatantly, that even the US military was forced to admit that the level of violence in Baghdad has been hardly affected by its efforts.
Of course, the carnage is not limited to Baghdad alone. Nationwide, the situation is hardly any better. The United Nations mission in Baghdad recently reported that 2,669 civilians were killed across Iraq during May and 3,149 were killed in June. In total, 14,338 civilians were killed from January to June 2006.
Nor is life across Iraq in the midst of growing sectarian violence only becoming more dangerous for Iraqi civilians. Sunni insurgent attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces have been increasing at an alarming rate. Attacks on American and Iraqi troops in June 2006 grew 44 percent to 88 from 61 compared to June 2005. While the number of American troops killed by hostile fire has declined, life is just as dangerous for them as it has ever been in post-Saddam Iraq.
All of this violence and mayhem is tearing the country apart at an increasing rate. In Baghdad, the Tigris river has become a dividing line between the Sunni west and Shiite east. This divide is stranding many of the city's seven million on the "wrong" side, making even their daily trips outside for shopping or to work into dangerous missions in enemy territory. To stay alive, many Iraqis have turned to fake IDs that can be used to fool sectarian militias out hunting for victims. For $35, those with easily identifiable sectarian names can get false documents that might mean the difference between life and death on an Iraqi street.
Other Iraqis have simply packed up and fled religiously mixed areas for what they hope will be safer ground among their co-religionists. The number of Iraqis who have registered for assistance as refugees within Iraq since the 22 February bombing of a Shiite shrine at Samarra stands at 162,000 people. Many of them live in 11 new tent camps. They include Abd Hammad al-Saeidi, who said that, "Gunmen told us to leave or they would kill us." The farmer from just south of Baghdad now lives with his family of 11 in a tent.
Obviously then, Iraq is rapidly becoming a nation of refugees. Sunnis and other minorities are leaving the south, while Shiites have been fleeing the areas around Baghdad and the north. For both the Sunni and Shia civilians caught in this cauldron of violence, the situation is tragic beyond description. However, as bad as things have been for Muslim Iraqis, for one vulnerable group of Iraqis, life inside "free Iraq" has been even more difficult. For the Assyrians, who are both Christian and the indigenous people of Iraq, the aftermath of Iraq’s "liberation" has been downright catastrophic.
The Assyrian Christian population of Iraq has been brutalized by both ethnic and religious attacks since the US-led invasion in 2003. Glyn Ford, a UK Labor member of the European Parliament and member of the "Save the Assyrians" campaign, recently laid out a litany of woe that has befallen the Assyrians. Ford reports that torture, kidnapping, extortion, harassment, church bombings, forced religious conversion, political disenfranchisement and property destruction are just some of the deliberate human rights violations that are both ruining and taking the lives of Assyrians in Iraq.
The President of "Save the Assyrians," Andy Darmoo, told a news conference in New York, "Today, the situation is the worst we have ever lived in Iraq."
Christians accounted for somewhere between five and twelve percent of the pre-war Iraqi population of 26 million. Most Iraqi Christians are Assyrians whose native language is a form of Aramaic. Over half of the Assyrian Iraqi community resides in the north, primarily in the Nineveh Plains and its surrounding areas. This location puts them at the mercy of America’s allies, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which has been anything but kind to the Assyrians.
Shamiran Mako, an analyst with the Council for Assyrian Research and Development (CARD), a Canadian-based think-tank, told the IPS that since the "liberation" of Iraq, oppression has become more prevalent in the North.
"Recently, there have been systematic measures taken by the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) officials, under the Kurdish-controlled areas to marginalise and suppress Assyrians through the dictatorial policies of the KRG."
The remaining Assyrians living elsewhere in Iraq have faired little better, of course, as they have been frequently targeted by the insurgency, by religious extremists, and even by criminal gangs bent on earning ransom money. As Halfath Hamama, an Iraqi refugee who fled to Syria explained, "Our children, wives, and family members are kidnapped every day. They send us a note telling us to give them fifty thousand dollars or they will kill our family. They send us their fingers or toes, pictures of them beaten and bruised, and tell us we bring this on our head because we are Christians and collaborate with the Christian Americans."
Anecdotal evidence aside, one must turn to the hard numbers to get the true measure of the Christian catastrophe unleashed by the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in October 2005 show that around 700,000 Iraqis took refuge in Syria alone between October 2003 and March 2005. Of this number, fully 36 percent were Iraqi Christians, an astounding rate given their small percentage of the overall population of Iraq.
In total, over 250,000 Christian refugees are now stranded in Syria, Jordan and Turkey. This is not even counting those that are displaced within Iraq itself, many having fled north trying to find some measure of safety among other Assyrians. Despite the scale, however, of this human tragedy, the Assyrians have largely been left to their own devices.
While the Kurds, for example, have received millions of dollars in aid following the end of Saddam’s regime, aid to the Assyrians has been almost non-existent. This has resulted in many refugees living in appalling conditions. It was even recently reported that some of the Assyrian refugees in northern Iraq had been reduced to sleeping on bare dirt in Christian cemeteries.
Since 2005, the Council for Assyrian Research and Development has sought to record the abuses endured by Assyrians through the Assyrian Human Rights Documentation Project. The first outcome paper produced by the group pulls no punches in its grim assessment. The paper warns, "At the current rates of ethnic cleansing, forced assimilation and migration, the indigenous Assyrian Christians will be fully eradicated from the new 'democratic Iraq' in less than 10 years ... the Kurdification, Arabisation, and Islamification of Iraq have left an ancient people at the doors of extinction."
The Assyrians have been calling for assistance, and these pleas have largely fallen on deaf ears. What is most needed is an Assyrian Administrative Unit, a safe haven that would be administered and guarded by the Assyrians themselves. While international groups such as the European Parliament have issued declarations and resolutions of support, the actual power in Iraq, the United States, appears to have already relegated the Assyrians to the dustbin of history. Unless the American people themselves choose to demand a policy reversal, it is unlikely that the Bush Administration will become interested in the fate of Iraqi Christians on its own accord.End 07-25-2006
Please pray for Rob. He has swollen lymph nodes on the left side of his neck. The doctor has no idea what it is. It is not strep throat and there is no sign of infection. He can barely touch the side of his neck.
Please pray for my friend Jim. Pray that the Lord will give him faith.
Please pray for Hannah. She is six months old and is having surgery (next week) to remove a spot on her lungs. They will need to break a rib to get in there. The spot was observed on ultrasound before she was born, but they had to wait until she was old enough for the surgery. Please pray for her parents too.
Diane would appreciate our prayers for her new grandson. Born tuesday, 9-12-06, 7lbs. 12 ozs. Although full term, he is having problems with breathing and rapid heartbeat.
"They have moved the baby into the ICU.... put in a feeding tube, have him on moniters, and an IV.
He has fluid in his lungs.. and is now running a fever.....Heart seems fine, and his oxygen levels are staying up.... since they put him in an oxygen tent.
Hopefully once he starts getting more nourishment, he will have more strength to fight with....He is responsive.... and will grab your finger instantly.... so we are all encouraged with that news. "
Please pray for me. Since October 2 I have been going through some personal trials which I am not at liberty to discuss. God willing, things will settle down and I can find time to answer your emails and update the website in a timely manner that the Lord will find helpful to His sheep. In the final analysis, "feed my sheep" is what He wants us to do. I appreciate all your prayers, emails, and blessings. God bless you. If you have been blessed by this website, please tell the "sheep" you know (present or potential) to come here and find a glimpse of who the Lord is. The Lord is a great King and intimately loving of all His children. His ways are past finding out, but, I can tell you from experiences (recent and past) - He will answer your prayers!! He is waiting for you to seek Him, not something from Him; but Him. He will reveal Himself to you in ways you will not believe, if you seek Him with your whole heart. Praise the name of the Lord and bless His name forever and forever!
PS: These "trials" (which affect more than just me) are the direct result of answered prayers. The Lord has His way of accomplishing His will. It is beautiful and touching (on a deep level) to watch Him work.
Letter from reader-
Please know that you are in my prayers, including those of thanks to our God for your ministry. These are very trying times for the Body of Christ in so many areas including mind and spirit. Please ask your readership to pray for members of my family, especially my son Peter, a carpenter, who suffered serious injuries to his hand while working with a table saw November 1. Also, pray for spiritual healing for my sister-in-law, Rondi and her son, my nephew, Jeff. Please pray for peace in their household and strength for the rest of the family.
Thank you to all who will do this for me. Candace
Please pray for Candace and her family.
Another reader says-
My problem is that I don't have enough patience. I also don't have enough compassion. I am waiting for the Lord to
help me and I know he has to because I can't do it myself. I sometime think that it is because I don't have enough faith.
But I know it is the Lord that gives us faith to believe. All that I am I owe to him, but I feel so unworthy and inadequate to
be a child of God. I don't even know what my gift is that he gave me when I was saved.
I wish I could be perfect but I can't. I want to please the Lord but I am not capable. I sin everyday in some way. When I
lose my temper, when I don't show compassion for my enemies, when I pre-judge someone, when I don't show appreciation
for what others do for me, when I find it hard to forgive those who do me wrong. I see in me what I don't like.
Lord, change our focus to be on you.
Letter from reader regarding the 11-05-2006 prayer request.
Thank you to all who read your website and have been praying for my family. My son, Peter (30 yrs old) has seen remarkable recovery to his hand and has been able to work steadily to support his family since the first of December. His thumb and ring finger on his left hand (he is left handed) were nearly severed and he suffered 15 fractures. Consequently, they don't look too good but they function, and that is what really matters. Please pray for continued healing, and know that my family thanks the LORD for your faithfulness in this matter. What a blessing to have people unknown to us concern themselves with our wellbeing!
Candace, it moves me to tears to know that the Lord has answered our prayers. The Lord is always at work. Praise be the name of the Lord!! Everyone, please continue to pray to the Lord. Remember, the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart. That is just too beautiful a truth.
Please pray for our brothers in Kenya.
They sent me an email and I am recording some messages for them.
Praise the Lord for His Saving of these people and many more.
This is the list of your church people from Kenya
1) Samuel Kebata...............Pastor
2)Janet Mong'are...........Women leader
3) Innocent Arori
4) Divinnah Arori................Vice deacon
5) Yabesh Onduso............Deacon
6) Naom Yabesh........Treasurer
7) Fanice Alex
8 ) Wilfred Otarige
9) Evaryline Otarige
11) Damarris Evans
12) Thomas Kemosi
13) Jackline Kemosi
14) Josphat Atandi...........comittee member
15) Tabitha Josphat
16 Zephaniah Atandi
17) Margret Zephaniah
18) Grace Boaz
19) Evaryline Mandere
20) Ruth Omweri
21) Milka Omare
22) James Moreka
And our family members are included in also i have got seven orphans in my church please keep on praying for us.
Yours in christ
God bless these people. Pray for them and others to hear the Gospel.
Please pray for the brothers in Kenya. They requested that we pray for their congregation because of the undesired influence of Seventh Day Adventist and Catholic Churches.
Please pray for me to able to continue this work on the website. My heart is still in this work and the coming of the Lord is fast approaching, but, I have been wearied lately by circumstances. You may have noticed that my quantity of updates has decreased over the last months. There are two reasons for this. (1) I am going through a divorce (to be finalized in December) (2) There were also some considerable health concerns but the Lord has lead me to take natural, healing herbs which have caused a remarkable healing for me. However, there was a time when I was concerned that my health might be deteriorating (at the same time I was going through the separation and all that goes with that). During these trials, I have been emotionally (and mentally) drained. Since I do the website when I am not working my regular job, you might can imagine how difficult it is to work a job, go through these trials, and do the website. I appreciate your prayers. All encouragement is always appreciated.
God bless you all. Rest assured that since I am telling you these things, I am on the way back.
CE writes and requests prayer for her son (and all in his Division) who are serving in Iraq in the 101st Airborne.
How Is A Man Saved?
Please e-mail us with questions or comments today. I may be wrong, but, the Bible is never wrong.