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Iraqi Christians facing Persecution send Urgent Text Messages to Christian Television Station

10/15/08 Iraq (ANS) — A Christian satellite TV station that broadcasts into the Middle East and North Africa is receiving urgent text messages from Iraqi believers requesting immediate and sustained prayer as persecution in the northern city of Mosul continues.

According to published reports, at least seven Iraqi Christians have been killed in recent days and as many as 3,000 Iraqi Christians have fled the Mosul due to severe pressure from extremists.

Other reports have stated that Christian homes have been bombed and leaflets passed around threatening Christians with death unless they convert to Islam or pay a ‘jizya’ tax that marks them as second-class citizens.

Iraqi Christians have been text messaging SAT-7 requesting urgent prayer. One wrote (translated from Arabic): “Please pray for Christians in Iraq because they are killing all the Christians that are walking in Mosul .” Another text said: “In the name of Jesus pray for Christians in Nineveh province. We’re under the weight of killings and displacement.”

SAT-7 is placing on its screen special messages calling for increased prayer for Iraqi Christians. It has also placed a message in Arabic on its viewers website from Archbishop Youhana Ibrahim, Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church and SAT-7 Board member asking for urgent prayer, the translation of which reads: “This is a heartfelt call of brotherly love, spurred by the teachings from heaven, to put an end to the horrifying massacre of Christians in Iraq. Let us maintain the right to co-exist together in the same homeland.”

SAT-7 has also received an email from a pastor in Iraq, who has hosted programs on the channel, saying: “We’re sending an S.O.S prayer request so the terrorists who think what they’re doing is for God will wake up and know the real God. We’re also praying that Christians will get closer to Jesus. And for the many families who have lost loved ones, houses and money, to never forget that, no matter what we lose, we’ll still have the places Jesus is preparing for us in Heaven.”

The pastor went on to say that many Christians in Iraq are asking for others to join them in three days of prayer and fasting for the situation.

Government officials have stated that they are sending in additional police to help with the situation. SAT-7 is very concerned about Christians living in Iraq , especially in Mosul , and will continue to ask viewers to pray for the situation until it improves.