Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
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Devotional for Iraq Church

By Joseph Kassab
9/27/2010 Iraq (Jubilee Campaign) – There are many countries in the world today where Christians are martyred for their faith. The world is watching in horror the unbridled violence that is unleashed on Christians in Iraq for the last six years. Christians are not doomed to defeat, but called to victory. If God can actually change us, then he can use us to change some part of this world. Christians can change the course of human history by prayer and obedience to the mighty God.

We believe that prayer changes things. Exactly what happens is a mystery of faith. God invites us to present to Him our requests and to pray without ceasing. Persecuted Iraqi Christians often plead for prayer to help them endure. The most we can do is the least we can do – pray.

When the word of the LORD came to Jonah saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.”  Jonah arose and went to Nineveh (a large city in northern Iraq now mainly inhabited since the birth of Christianity by faithful Christians). Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Then the Ninevites believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.

When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it. God took note of Nineveh’s repentance, something which involved more than mere words or token gestures.

Based on these dramatic epic, the ancient Ninevites; Christians of Iraq started a special fasting called Baoutha, which starts three weeks before Lent. Its roots go back to pre-Christianity where every year for three days as a sign of thanksgiving to God all people fast and pray. People fast from midnight till midday and abstain from eating meat and all animal products during these three days. We, the Chaldeans/Assyrians/Syriac people keep our ancestors’ traditions, and this is one of our favorites.

We pray that the persecutors of the church may be exposed and opposed. Pray that the persecutors brought to repentance or that may fall into the traps that they have dug for others and that their evil declarations may come back to haunt them.  As the persecution of Christians in Iraq intensified under the ruling of the fundamentalists and Islamists, we continue to pray to God to intervene.

[Jubilee Campaign]