Pastor Abdi Ali Hamzah might be released from Iraqi prison after Dr. Terry Law of World Compassion Ministries met with high-ranking government officials and petitioned for his freedom.
"We need a continued focus of prayer over the next week or so as we continue to go through the appeal process," Jason Law, vice president of Operations and the son of Dr. Terry Law, shared in an email with The Christian Post on Friday. "We have high expectations for his release soon." more >>
A Christian pastor in Iraq being held in prison is suffering from urgent health problems and might die unless he receives immediate attention, a missionary organization says.
Pastor Abdi Ali Hamzah has been held in jail since July 2011, after he was arrested without charges in his home and sentenced to five years in prison. World Compassion Terry Law Ministries is seeking to raise urgent attention for a man who it says has put his life on the line going undercover to refugee villages and helping Dr. Terry Law distribute $100,000 dollar-worth of food to desperately hungry people in Iraq.
"He has been in prison for 18 months now, and before that we sent him to Jordan to have some gammanite surgery done," Jason Law, vice president of Operations and the son of Dr. Law, shared with The Christian Post on Thursday. "He had a tumor in his brain, and they believe that it is coming back. From our understanding, he is now in a prison hospital but is not really receiving the treatment and care that he needs." more >>
As violence against Christian minorities continues in Mosul, Iraq, Carl Moeller of Open Doors USA worries that the U.S. has turned its focus away from these persecuted Christians, as the U.S. no longer has a military presence in the Middle Eastern country.
Moeller, president/CEO of human rights watchdog Open Doors USA, calls the continued violence against Christians in Mosul a "religicide," saying in a recent statement: "Christians in cities like Baghdad and Mosul are gripped by terrorism. They are fleeing in droves. [On August 16] it was reported that at least 20 people died in blasts and shootings across the country."
The violence began in 2003, when U.S. military forces overthrew Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The subsequent U.S. occupation of Iraq resulted in immense violence between Christians, the minority in the country, and Muslims. more >>
Iraq's Shi'ite community and government officials were targeted in a series of attacks around the country that killed at least 125 people soon after the beginning of the Muslims' holy month of Ramadan.
While the attacks on Sunday were targeted mainly at the Shi'ite population, on Monday security forces and government officials were killed.
Monday's coordinated attacks in 13 cities left at least 103 people dead and about 200 wounded, according to The Associated Press. The blasts took place within a few hours of each other. more >>
The year 2011 did not bring respite for Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq as hundreds of thousands of migrants who fled the country are still unwilling to risk returning due to reports of continued discrimination, fear of renewed violence and the government's apparent inability to protect citizens.
In addition to the lack of life opportunities in Iraq, Assyrian Christians and other minorities experienced a significant rise in hostile acts and riots in the country's northen region in 2011 compared to 2010, according to a newly released Human Right Watch report. Northern Iraq has traditionally been considered a safe haven for minority groups, but the uptick in violence indicates conditions are changing.
The human rights agency also warned that "Given the huge exodus of minorities and continuing threats and violence in 2011," there is a probability that Assyrians, an ethnic indigenous minority which is mostly Chrisitan, "may not survive the current conflict and that their unique culture and heritage will slowly disappear from Iraq." more >>
The Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Matthew in Baghdad was one of the targets in a string of bombings Tuesday, as Iraqi extremists conducted a series of attacks in several cities and towns across the country that killed at least 52 people in total.
Over 30 bombs were detonated and wounded an estimated 250 people. The attacks are believed to be a challenge extremists wanted to throw at security forces on the ninth anniversary of U.S. invasion of the country on March 20, 2003.
The deadliest incident occurred in the southern city of Kerbala, a city Shi'ite Muslims consider sacred, where two car bombs killed 13 people and wounded 48 during the morning rush hour, according to media reports. Other targeted areas included Baiji, Baquba, Daquq, Dibis, Dhuluiya, Kirkuk, Mosul, Samarra, Tuz Khurmato, Khalis and Dujail to the north of Baghdad, Falluja and Ramadi to the west, and Hilla, Latifiya, Mahmudiya and Mussayab to the south. Police reportedly defused bombs in Baquba, Falluja and Mosul. Experts called the day of the blasts Iraq's bloodiest in nearly a month. more >>