Date: July 25, 2013
VOM is sending Action Packs to Christians. You can help, too.
Iraq (MNN) ― Iraqis thought when coalition forces left the country, peace would come to the nation. The sectarian violence has actually increased--so much so that many are saying a civil war is looming.
Spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs USA Todd Nettleton puts the violence in perspective. "So far in July, almost 600 people have been killed in different attacks, most of those civilians. In May the UN said 963 people were killed, which was the biggest casualty toll since way back in 2008."
As we said yesterday, this is a battle between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Why are they fighting? Nettleton says, "Al-Qaeda would like to create a Sunni State in Iraq. Al-Qaeda in Iraq is against the Shia Government that's in place there. What everybody wants, I guess, is control. And nobody wants to give that up without a fight."
Some have suggested the only way to bring peace to Iraq is to split up the country into three areas: an area for the Sunnis, another area for the Shia, and an area for the Kurds. "Practically that's a very difficult thing--to uproot people and move people," says Nettleton. "But it doesn't seem like they have come, at least so far, with a solution to share control or to share power among the three groups."
VOM is asking you to get involved in helping the church in Iraq. The ministry distributes Action Packs. "We have American Christians that pack an Action Pack bag with humanitarian aid materials and clothing items. Then we deliver those into Iraq to Christian families there. Another key way that we're involved is delivering Bibles."
Nettleton says packing Action Pack bags is a great project for a church youth group. It only costs $7 per bag. "We'll send you the specially-made plastic bag. You fill it and send it back to us here in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and then we will take care of delivery."
While the church in Iraq is small, Nettleton says despite the threats against them, the church is asking for Bibles. "One of the consistent themes of the persecuted church that we work with is: 'We need more Bibles. We need Bibles for ourselves. We need Bibles for evangelism--Bibles we can pass out to our friends and to our neighbors.'"
In a place that seems utterly hopeless, this is where Nettleton is asking you to do what every Christian can do: pray. "Pray that the Lord will give them hope and that they will be encouraged even amidst this very difficult time in their country."
If you'd like to get involved in the Action Packs, go to http://www.Persecution.com and follow the links.