Sunday, February 9, 2014

World Watch List | Iraq

Each year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List. The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. First of all, the list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons.

Each Sunday I will post information on one of the countries listed to provide information about the situation that Christians in this country face as well as to encourage us to join together and pray for those facing persecution around the world.

Will you join me in praying for persecuted Christians in Iraq?

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Iraq

The body of Salem Dawood Coca was found in his truck on the 8th of July, one month after he had been abducted. Salem was a 63 year old water truck driver known for his kindness. He left behind his wife and three children. Since his truck was rigged with explosives, the police believe that he was killed after he had refused to do a suicide bombing. A fieldworker says that this suicide bombing wasn't the only thing the kidnappers tried to force Salem into: "I believe that they also wanted to force him to convert to Islam and attack Christians, which this man very bravely refused. This man seems to have stood for his faith until the last moment."

The kidnappers had contacted Salem's family, saying that Salem was a 'Christian infidel,' but didn't demand a ransom. According to the same fieldworker, this shows that the kidnappers' intention was to intimidate and scare the Christians of Nineveh. Sadly, this isn't the first incident indicating this. "Muslim extremists often come from the outside with the clear goal of driving the Christians away," shares the field worker. "An example is the kidnapping and killing of the former Archbishop of this area, Paulos Faraj Rahho, that happened three years ago. Despite these incidents, Christians are unashamed to wear the cross in what Muslims feel should be an Islamic state.

*Names, photographs and other information have been changed for security purposes
 
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Map of Iraq

Quick Facts on Iraq

Rank: 4
Previous Rank: 4
Leader: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Religion: Islam
Population: 35.9 million (330,000 Christians)
Source of persecution: Islamic extremism
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