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PostMon Jan 16, 2006 10:43 pm     "IRAQ: Christians Fear Muslims"    

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By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Dec 28, 2005

Christians form a small community in New Iraq. They are daily threatened by Muslim murderers global who want to rip apart the new democracy planting. Therefore, Islamic killers international go after Christian believers, particularly their clergy and churches.

Therefore, Christmastide was no different, except that Christians took added precautions. One congregation did not celebrate Christmas Eve worship near midnight for fear of the church being burnt to the ground or worshipers being attacked by Allah zealots. Therefore, earlier in the evening worship, they blew out the candles. The clergy then said to the congregation, "Let us now imagine that it is midnight and we are observing candlelight communion."

Stephen Ferrell for TimesOnLine reports that in one location Midnight Mass had to be cancelled because the congregation feared bomb blasts. With these daily apprehensions, many Christians have left New Iraq to live elsewhere.

One pastor had to apologize to the worshipers that Christmas choir renditions were not as perfected as the singers and choral master had wanted due to rehearsals having to be suspended. Too many Muslim threats were leveled against the worshipers prior to Christmas Day.
On the other hand, Christians fear for speaking out in their own advocacy because there would be reprisals. Once Muslim murderers global get wind that there are complaints, there are churches burnt and believers’ lives in danger. Therefore, believers whisper or conclude not to speak at all.

It is the same in some countries like Sweden where citizens have self-imposed "self-censorship." Because of fear from the Muslim immigrants, rapes occur, murders take place, and neighborhoods are threatened but people are afraid to speak the truth about such atrocities. Media won’t print the facts. Sometimes police units refuse to go into certain areas of the metropolis for fear of Muslim gangs who have taken over the region. It is the same with ambulances and other medical vehicles. They stay away rather than enter certain locations because of Islamic killer threats.

Christian women in New Iraq are abused in the public thoroughfares because they don’t wear the Muslim female garb. Therefore, they are insulted, slurred and at times their lives are threatened.

Several months ago the entire lay leadership of the chief Anglican congregation in New Iraq was ambushed and murdered.
Nevertheless, at Christmas, thousands of believers did appear at worship services. They informed their clergy that they were going to march forward in faith, regardless. They refused to be frightened out of their church buildings at the most holy season of the church calendar. Therefore, there were scores who walked through church doors to say their prayers and read Scripture, hear sermons and welcome one another in Jesus’ name.

"Despite the fears of insurgent bombings and Islamist intolerance, congregations turned out in greater numbers yesterday than last year. ‘We are now back to the numbers of three years ago. People now want to go to church to keep challenging these people, we are defiant,’ said Faadi Victor, a lay official at Our Lady of Salvation, a Catholic church that was hit by one of the August 2004 bombs."

"A few minutes’ drive away at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church the instantly recognizable strains of F’iil Douja, Waal Sikhoun’ (Silent Night, Holy Night) began the morning service, attended by hundreds."

In other words, the righteous continue the battle for God. They will not succumb finally to the killing cult. They know that Christ has already warned believers that they will be persecuted for righteousness’ sake. They are to pray for and do good to their enemies. They are to pray for their foes’ conversion to Christ’s compassion and grace. Therefore, genuine believers carry on with the cross witness.

[Christians] remain wondering about the future of New Iraq. Will it turn into an Iraqi stronghold for Muslim fanatics or will secular Muslims take hold for a genuine freedom base? Only the future holds the answer to that question. Nevertheless, believers continue to pray for God’s blessing upon this new attempt at liberty.

"Father Haritounian, a priest from Basra, told how he had been driven out of the town by death threats from Muslim fanatics. The final ultimatum had been delivered, he said, by men wearing police uniforms who arrived at his church in a police car 18 months ago.

"’They read from a note which said, "Either leave Basra or you will be killed. You have only one week",’ he told The Times. ‘They said, "We have already warned you and you did not respond. If you do not go now your blood is on your hands."’

"He believes that he provoked the fundamentalists by visiting Basra schools to follow up complaints from Christian children that they were being forced to read the Koran.

"’Despite the fact that there are British troops there, that doesn’t stop the assassinations and the oppression in Basra,’ he said."


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