A high-profile kidnapping could hurt the Iraqi church
“It just adds more fuel to people wanting to flee. And in fleeing, they’ll reduce the Christian witness in that society.”
March 5, 2008 Iraq (MNN)-Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki has issued an all-out effort to secure the release of Chaldean Catholic archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who was kidnapped last Friday. The Mosul abduction has sent shockwaves throughout the Christian community, says Open Doors USA President Carl Moeller.
Moeller just returned from the region. “Christians there, many of them, told me about stories of being forced out of their homes [and] told by Al-Quade in Iraq that they would need to flee the city or face their children being kidnapped. But this particularly–because it’s a leading figure in the Christian community–has sent shockwaves throughout the Christian community.”
Moeller says this isn’t good news for the already-shrinking Christian population in Iraq . “It just adds more fuel to people wanting to flee. And in fleeing, they’ll reduce the Christian witness in that society.”
Moeller says there’s evidence of that today. “There is actually a Muslim background believer church in Northern Iraq, in Kurdistan . And even a decade ago, that would have been a complete oxymoron to say ‘a Kurdish Christian.’ But today, there are thousands of Kurdish Christians/ Muslim background believers.”