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
  • Tony Blair urges Western intervention to combat a “radicalised and politicised view of Islam” around world http://ow.ly/w76N5 8 hours ago

  • Iranian pastor Farshid Fathi hospitalised after beating by prison guards http://ow.ly/w4Liq Wed, Apr 2014 16:20

  • Young Christian man killed by Muslim co-worker in Pakistan for refusing to convert to Islam http://ow.ly/w1Uum Tue, Apr 2014 15:22

  • Christians driven out of Maaloula by Islamist rebels long to return after its recapture by the Syrian army http://ow.ly/vTrgN Thu, Apr 2014 16:37

Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • Cry out to the Lord for 33 Christians who have been sentenced to death in North Korea. The believers are thought to have been working alongside Kim Jeong-Wook, a South Korean missionary who was arrested in October 2013. Jeong-Wook has admitted trying to “create a network of house churches in North Korea” and was also said to be carrying Bibles and other Christian literature. His alleged associates are accused of trying to overthrow the government and of receiving a large sum of money for the construction of 500 house churches. Pray that these executions will not be carried out and that international pressure will be brought to bear on North Korea to release Kim Jeong-Wook and to cease its intense anti-Christian persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:33

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