Missions Groups Hopeful Upon Hussein’s Capture

Iraq – Missions and humanitarian aids groups to Iraq celebrated Saddam Hussein’s capture, but remained alert for a potential backlash of Iraqi insurgency.

"We're certainly hopeful that, what may appear at first blush to be a new freedom in Iraq, now that Saddam has been captured, will lead to a greater level of religious freedom throughout the country,” said World Vision’s Dean Owen.

According to Owen, WV won’t be opening an office in Baghdad in the near future, given the violence targeting the Red Cross and United Nations.

"We see the potential of a backlash, an increase of terrorist activities against coalition forces. So, we are restricting our staff's movements for the next two or three days, just to help insure their safety and protection."

Nonetheless, Owen is hopeful the capture will lead to an openness toward religious freedom in Iraq.

"Pray for the victims of Saddam's reign of terror who are now coming to grips with what may be a new openness, a new level of political and religious freedom in this country."

The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism also agreed that the capture can only help their cause.

"What I think will happen is it will free up many of the Iraqi people that have been frightened of reprisal. There have been some that have not been cooperating for fear that Saddam will come back and use all these things against them,” said “Doc.”