Watchdog Warns Christian Persecution Could Increase in Iraq Following U.S. Withdrawal

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With the horrors of Afghanistan’s new status quo still fresh on our minds, we need to be praying for the Christians of another nation where their already persecuted churches could face further violence once the United States withdraws its troops.

Iraq.

Ranked number 11 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List, Iraq is home to a similar degree of Christian persecution as that experienced by the church in Afghanistan, which already ranked second on the organization’s list of worst countries in the world to be a Christian.

While periods of peace for the Iraqi church have come and gone over the last few decades, it has been increasing in recent years.

Christians have been in Iraq for as long as there have been followers of Christ yet the instability of the last three decades has certainly placed them at risk.

Historically, Christians who come from ethnic backgrounds that are historically Christian have received some degree of protection, while those who convert from Islam, like in many other Muslim-majority nations, are severely ostracized and targeted by their communities.

They risk the right to an inheritance and are banned from marrying other Christians, as the law still regards them as Muslim.

With the rise of Islamic militancy, violent attacks on Christians have increased in recent years, something which could grow significantly worse as the U.S. troops fully withdraw.

President Joe Biden expects to complete this retreat from the nearly two-decade war in the region by the end of the year.

“The fact of the matter is we could see it all over again,” Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders and former commissioner for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, recently told conservative radio host Glenn Beck.

“But once this genie is out of the bottle, you thought ISIS was bad five or six years ago, you haven’t seen anything yet.”

He explained that while he’s hesitant to tell Iraqi Christians what to do, that if he were among their ranks, he would certainly be fleeing the country ahead of the withdrawal.

“I’m always hesitant to say ‘Get out right now,” he said. “But these are decisions for these people to make. But I’m telling you, if I were sitting there in northern Iraq, watching the exact same people in Washington, D.C. do the exact same thing with another country…”

“And Glenn, everyone seems to have forgotten that Joe Biden said on July 27… just a few weeks ago,” Moore continued. “That he wants all of the U.S. soldiers out of Iraq too, by the end of the year. So if I’m a Christian or Yazidi or another threatened community sitting in Iraq, yeah I would be getting out of there as quickly as I could.”

Afghanistan. Iraq. Pakistan. India. Nigeria. China. Persecution is increasing in dozens of nations around the world as the enemies of Christ seek to snuff out his followers.

Pray with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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