November 14, 2019

Iraq – Christians in Fear

St George'sPrayer
Protests in the Baghdad area continue. We bring you an update from St George’s and the clinic, following on from Rev Faez Jirjees' short video last week.  Join with us as we pray together for the continuing situation.
The Situation in Baghdad
The British government continue to advise against all travel to the region. The Foreign and Commonwealth office website states: ‘While many demonstrations have been peaceful, there have been frequent violent clashes between Iraqi Security Forces and protesters, resulting in significant casualties including loss of life.’
There are many photographs and videos of the violence but we have chosen not to share these.
Protests continue today with reports of further violence and unrest (Reuters).  The wider political landscape remains tense amid reports of activists going missing, including Saba Al-Mahdawi (Amnesty International). The UN and US have called for reforms (BBC) to diffuse the situation.
Protestors waving Iraqi flag in a peaceful scene
St George’s Forced to Cancel Services
Sunday Services have been cancelled for the fourth weekend in a row at St George’s Church, Baghdad. We all remain deeply concerned, as we reported last week.
The protests and response are disrupting daily life. Most church-goers travel from across the city, generally in minibuses. These have been stopped for fear of getting caught up in the protests and the shootings.
St George's Church last year - filled with the congregation before the protests
St George’s own security guards patrol the fortified compound, protecting the clinic and church. Safety concerns have forced the clinic to close some days. We remain thankful for the days it has remained open to continue its vital work. 
The protests began in late October. The mostly young protestors want to change the political system which they say has failed them. They accuse the government of corruption and of not tackling huge unemployment despite massive oil revenues.
How You Can Pray
Rev Faez speaks of how “Many people have died… the situation is very bad now”.  He asks us “For the Christians there; please pray for our people, for our projects and St George’s. Thank you.”
  • Please pray for a peaceful resolution to the protest situation and for those missing.
  • Please pray that Christians will be able to worship again at St George’s as soon as possible.
  • Please pray for safety for all working at and attending St George’s throughout the week.
The Mosaic Middle East Team
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Posted by Mosaic Middle East