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Father Pius AffasFather Mzen Ishoa
Father Pius Affas and Father Mzen Ishoa
Photos from
Compass Direct

Two Christian priests, Father Pius Affas (60) and Father Mzen Ishoa (35), were kidnapped by unidentified men in Mosul on the afternoon of October 13. Late that afternoon, the kidnappers spoke with Archbishop Basile George Casmoussa and demanded a ransom of $1 million dollars for their release. Bishop Carsmoussa, however, told them that it was not possible to raise these funds. Negotiations are reportedly still underway to secure the priests' freedom. The exact motive for the kidnapping has yet to be determined but it is suspected to be connected to an Islamic group called "Jihad and Tawhid." This group sent letters to Father Addas' church approximately two months ago that threatened to attack the church if the congregation did not flee the area.

Pray that these priests will be released. Pray that they will keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere in their faith, and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; 12:1-3). Pray that their loved ones will rely on God in this uncertain time. Pray that the kidnapping of priests in Iraq will cease.

For more information on the persecution of Christians in Iraq, go to the Iraq Country Report.

Current Ministry Project

By working with credible ministry partners, VOMC is providing persecuted Christian women sewing skills training so they can receive a sustainable source of income and thus adequately support their families. In addition, these women are able to seize the opportunities presented to them through their new businesses by serving as effective witnesses for Christ.

Project Fund: Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
39,650,145 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Arab (75-80), Kurdish (15-20), Turkoman, Assyrian, and other (5)

Religion (%)
Islam (95-98), Christianity (1), other (1-4)

Leader
President Barham Salih (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system

Mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Iraq

Pray for the protection of the remaining believers in Iraq during this time of upheaval and danger. May many churches and Christian relief organizations seize the opportunity to provide greatly needed assistance and ministry to the numerous suffering people of this war-torn nation. As God’s work of healing, provision and restoration takes place, pray that a stable democratic government will be established.

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