As persecution increases, your family needs your support to keep faith and hope alive
Printable sheet with key facts, figures, information and prayer points. Useful for your church noticeboard or prayer group.
Leader: President Fuad Masum
Population: 37.5 million (250,000 Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Parliamentary democracy
World Watch List Rank: 2
Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism
Save ME: Bring hope to the Middle East
This short film launches Open Doors’ Hope for the Middle East campaign. Pastor Edward, a church leader in Damascus and one of Open Doors’ key partners, talks about how important it is for the church in the Middle East to stay and shine as a light in the darkness.
Give to bring hope
Our partners are providing thousands of families with vital aid, such as food and medicines, and long-term support, such as trauma care and loans for small businesses. But none of this work would be possible without your gifts and prayers.
OTHER WAYS TO BRING HOPE TO THE MIDDLE EAST
Speak out to our government in advocacy and to God in prayer on behalf of our church family in the Middle East.
There has been a church in Iraq for 2,000 years, but today it's on the verge of extinction.
Thousands of Christians were forced from their homes in 2014 to escape the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) - remaining in IS-controlled territory as a Christian is effectively a death warrant. Christians also face abduction, attack and sexual abuse at the hands of extremists. Even in parts of Iraq free of IS, the law is based on Sharia (Islamic law) and forbids Muslims from leaving Islam; Muslim-background believers often hide their faith.
- Thank God for Open Doors partners and local churches in Iraq who are supporting displaced Christians - ask for continuing provision and strength for these refugees and those who serve them
- For protection for women and girls - IS gives its fighters permission to rape women they capture
- For courage for believers from Muslim backgrounds to keep following Jesus, despite the pressure they may face from their families and communities.
Open Doors in Action:
Open Doors has been working with local partners and churches in Iraq for over 20 years to support the church through:
- Providing trauma training and biblical training for church leaders and Muslim-background believers
- Crisis relief - Open Doors partners are currently providing around 15,000 families with relief aid
- Socio-economic development projects such as microloans for displaced people
- Distributing Bibles and Christian literature and supporting Kurdish translations
Listen to Farouk Hammo
Iraqi church leader Farrouk Hammo talks about trusting God for the impossible. Recorded at the Greatest Adventure, the Open Doors UK 60th anniversary celebration in November 2015.
Latest News from Iraq:
- Urgent prayer needed as forces gather for 'Battle for Mosul'
- "Through the displacement I found the peace of the Lord"
- Update on five-year-old Christine, abducted by Islamic State
- Pastoral training equips Martin to give hope to displaced youth
- Christians ask God to 'Liberate Mosul' two years after fleeing