Iraq – More bombings in Baghdad and Mosul

Barnabas Fund. Baghdad and Mosul have been gripped with fear in recent weeks as a number of bombs have been detonated across the cities. Last month, we reported that six bombs had exploded, including two outside Christian buildings. But since then there have been further attacks. On 12 December 2009 at least 127 people were killed and hundreds wounded in five powerful car bombings in Baghdad, including one in Dora, a Christian neighbourhood. One week later, further explosions rocked the country. Two early morning blasts in Baghdad killed at least eight people, while in Mosul two car bombs were detonated near churches, causing extensive damage, wounding nearby schoolchildren and killing at least three Christians. On 23 December another bomb was detonated outside a Mosul church killing at least three people. Iraqi Christians saw this latest attack as timed to coincide with the Christmas season. In addition, Christians in Basra were warned by Shia Muslims that they must not celebrate Christmas in any way apart from attending church. This is owing to the main Shia celebration during the Islamic month of Muharram, which in 2009 began on 18 December, with the climax celebration around 26-27 December.

The minister of one of the churches attacked on 16 December said “Words cannot describe what has happened … but we will pray in the streets, in homes, in shops. God is everywhere, not just in churches.” Barnabas Fund has sent help for the victims of the Mosul bombings. Pray for all those who lost loved ones in the recent bombings, that they may know the comforting hand of the Lord Jesus in their sorrow and that He will lift their spirits.  Pray for Christians in Iraq. Such violence is often directed towards Christians at special times of celebration such as Christmas. Pray that peace will come to this country that has seen so much violence in recent years.• Pray that the angel of the Lord will encamp around His people to deliver them (Psalm 34:7).

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