Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Christian couple killed in Iraq as US tr...

Email:

Christian couple killed in Iraq as US troops withdraw from country

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Christian couple killed in Iraq as US troops withdraw from country

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq

A young Christian couple have been killed and a Christian man kidnapped in Iraq, heightening fears about the increasing threat to the Christian community now US troops have left the country.

Black-Hawk-helicopter-4X3.jpg
The US military operation
in Iraq is now over

Adnan Elia Jakmakji (34) and his wife Raghad al Tawil (25) were shot dead in their car last Tuesday (13 December). Their two sons were wounded as gunmen sprayed the vehicle with bullets. The family was ambushed in Mosul, northern Iraq, by an armed group.

The previous day, Sermat Patros, a 29-year-old Christian man, was kidnapped from his family’s home furnishings store in Ankawa in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. He was held for three days, during which his captors demanded a $500,000 ransom. Sermat, who was blindfolded and tied down during his ordeal, was rescued by a SWAT team on Thursday morning (15 December) to the great relief of his 21-year-old wife Amal and the local Christian community.

The kidnapping follows an outbreak of anti-Christian violence in Zakho, Kurdistan, earlier this month. Shops and businesses belonging to Christians were torched by Islamists on 2 December; the owners were later threatened with death if they re-opened the premises.

Thousands of Iraqi Christians have moved to Kurdistan to escape anti-Christian violence in other parts of the country; this region is increasingly looking less of a safe haven for them.  

Fears over US troops exit

Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, scores of Christians have been killed and more than 50 churches bombed in anti-Christian attacks. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled their homes, either to the more stable north or to neighbouring countries such as Syria and Jordan.

Many Iraqi Christians and other minority groups fear that the withdrawal of US troops, which was completed on Sunday (18 December), could cause further instability and violence in the country, making them even more vulnerable.

Some observers expect that Iranian influence will increase following the US exit; this could further aggravate ethnic and religious divisions.

A 26-year-old Christian who lives in Kurdistan said:

Whether it’s Sunni-Shia, Kurdish-Arab, or Muslim-Christian, the troubles will escalate. There is no real future for us in Iraq.

“Christmas in secret”

In addition to the security concerns surrounding the withdrawal of US troops, the Christmas season often brings an increase in anti-Christian violence in Iraq. Consequently, celebrations will be very low key.

A senior church leader in Kirkuk said:

The Christians of Mosul and Baghdad will once again celebrate Christmas in secret this year, and they fear that at any moment the armed groups will break into their homes and shoot them for no apparent reason.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Christian couple killed in Iraq as US troops withdraw from country

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon
  • Christians driven out of Maaloula by Islamist rebels long to return after its recapture by the Syrian army http://ow.ly/vTrgN 14 hours ago

  • Islamic parties make unexpected gains in Indonesian elections http://ow.ly/vR60m Wed, Apr 2014 16:46

  • Former counter-terrorism chief to lead inquiry into alleged Islamist takeover of Birmingham schools http://ow.ly/vOn9I Tue, Apr 2014 17:01

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi's appeal hearing- set for today- deferred for third time in Pakistan http://ow.ly/vLEkf Mon, Apr 2014 16:03

  • "We should stand up against persecution of Christians" David Cameron in Easter speech http://ow.ly/vEai9 Thu, Apr 2014 16:53

Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 7 hours ago

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

© Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks