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A 29-year-old Christian man was recently tortured and killed by members of al Qaida in Kirkuk, Iraq. On May 13, Ashur Issa Yaqub was kidnapped. His captors reportedly demanded $100,000 for his release. Three days later, his body was recovered, bearing marks of brutal torture. According to a local pastor, his kidnappers had reportedly pressured Ashur's employer to fire him because he was a Christian. "Because the contractor was rich and they couldn't do anything to him, they kidnapped Ashur, and unfortunately they killed him," the pastor said. Ashur leaves to mourn a wife and three children.

Pray Ashur's widow and children will know the peace, presence and comfort of Jesus. Pray Christians in Kirkuk will look to Christ for strength and continue to walk His path of faithful perseverance. Pray those responsible for the murder will know the Spirit's conviction of sin and the Father's offer of forgiveness, and turn to new life in the Son.

For more on the suffering Church in Iraq, go to the Iraq Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC is partnering to teach and equip persecuted Christian women sewing skills so that they can provide a sustainable source of income for their families and give them the opportunity to be witnesses for Christ through their new businesses. VOMC partners to provide biblical training on discipleship and the theology of persecution to Muslim Background Believers.

Project Funds: Women’s Ministry, Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information

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)

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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Iraq News

  • Aid Workers Released
    Devastation from the war
    Some of the devastation
    from the conflict in Iraq.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    On January 20th, four humanitarian aid workers from the French organization, SOS Chretiens d'Orient, went missing while in Baghdad. Details were limited, providing no information on those responsible nor the reasons behind

  • Four Foreign Aid Workers Missing
    Devastation in Iraq
    Some of the devastation from the conflict in Iraq.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    On January 20th, four workers affiliated with the French organization, SOS Chretiens d'Orient, went missing while in Baghdad. Despite repeated attempts to contact them, no response has been received to date. At last report

  • Families Again Forced to Flee Hometown

    Hilla, Iraq

    Hundreds of Iraqi Christian families had recently returned to their hometown of Teleskuf, after being displaced for years due to attacks perpetrated by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, only to be forced to flee their northern Iraq community all over again. These families hav

  • Abducted Child Reunited with Family!

    Christina with her rescuers and her mother
    Christina, finally reunited with her family! (Her elated mother, Ayda, is in the backseat.)
    Photo: Twitter @thestevennabil

    A tragic story that began three years ago now has a miraculously happy ending. You may recall hearing about Christina Abada, the three-year-old girl in Iraq who was kidnapped rig