Iraqi Christian Centers Strengthen Skills, Faith

Christian cultural centers in Iraq are helping to support the country’s minority Christian population financially and spiritually through skill-building classes and faith-based discussions.

Two centers located in the Christian community in Iraq are offering skill-building courses in the areas of computers, music, and English to help Iraqi Christians find better jobs in a country where the Muslim population dominates about 97 percent of the population.

“The center falls into the category of what we would call Christian Community Development in Iraq,” explained Carl Moeller, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, on Monday to The Christian Post. “Open Doors is committed to building the economic infrastructure for Christians in society – especially in Muslim society where Christians are discriminated against…”

In addition to skill-building courses, the center also engages in dialogue on religions in Iraq and occasionally holds conferences outside the cities to show movies like the Jesus Film or to discuss Christian cultural topics.

The centers are said to not have any overt Christian symbols on the outside of the building that would draw unnecessary attention to the building.

“For practical reason, we don’t want to be targeted,” said Moeller. “Secondly, we are primarily working within the Christian community here to train them; we are not advertising outside of that community.”

However, the centers distribute Bibles in addition to other literatures to interested students.

Moeller said that non-Christian Iraqis are interested in the “good news of Jesus Christ.”

“The absolute truth is that many Iraqis are turning to Christ when they are given the opportunity to hear clearly the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the hope, the love and the peace that is offered within a relationship with Christ,” added the watchdog head. “So we are seeing that despite the violence and despite the opposition, Christians are reaching out to their Muslim neighbors and their Muslim neighbors are turning to faith in Jesus Christ.”