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Persecuted Iraqi Christians Reach Out to US

ICC Note:

Iraqi Christians celebrate the Rogation of the Ninevites, a time of repentance that commemorates the Prophet Jonah being sent to the people of Ninevah. Iraqi Christians around the world join together in the three-day fast while the church in Iraq continues to face relentless persecution and Christian families continue to flee the country. Please join Iraqi Christians in prayer and fasting for the perseverance and preservation of the church in Iraq.

By Ken Timmerman

2/15/2011 Iraq (NewsMax) – Christians in Washington, D.C., and Erbil, Iraq, joined hands through the Internet on Monday to celebrate the beginning of a three-day period of repentance and prayer known as the Rogation of the Ninevites.

The prayers came at a particularly dangerous time for Iraqi Christians, who have been fleeing Baghdad, Mosul, and other mixed-population areas since the Oct. 31, 2010, attack on a Baghdad church by jihadi Muslims who murdered 58 worshippers and wounded 78 more. 

“Since the beginning of November and Christmas, we have registered more than 2,300 Christian families who have fled to northern Iraq seeking safety,” said William Warda, president of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, an aide group that works with Christians and other minorities who have been forced to flee their homes in Iraq because of the jihadi Muslim attacks.

“We checked every village in the Nineveh Plain and in the Kurdish region in the north,” Warda told Newsmax by phone from Baghdad. “The flow of refugees has continued unabated since then.”

The Rev. Rayan Atto, a 31-year old Chaldean priest at Mar Qarakh in Erbil, led prayers on Monday at his church to start the three-day fast and repentance period that commemorates the Prophet Jonah’s summons to the people of Ninevah to repent or face destruction.

He was joined via a Skype Internet connection from Washington by the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, who heads the Christian Defense Coalition.

Mahoney had planned to travel to northern Iraq to celebrate the Rogation of the Ninevites with church leaders in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, the current-day city that sits on the ruins of ancient Nineveh, but church leaders told him it was too dangerous for him to come because of the risk of jihadi Muslim attacks.

Instead, he led a group of 50 church leaders and human rights leaders in prayers in front of the White House.

[Full Story]