Voice of the Martyrs, October 26, 2023
One day in May 2023, an Iraqi pastor answered his phone, not knowing it would be the last call he would receive from a young Christian friend. On the line was a university student who had recently converted from Islam.
Some of the student’s former friends had arrived at his home, saying, “We know about your new faith. We are going to give you a chance to come back.” The group told him he could claim not to believe in any god, but he could not remain a Christian. The assailants gave him 24 hours to recant, or they would kill him.
They allowed him one phone call, so he called his pastor, who prayed for him and told him the decision was his alone. The pastor also reminded him of the eternal hope and home awaiting all followers of Christ.
The young man said he would share the good news of Christ with his former friends and remain faithful. He was executed for his faith the next day.
Attacks by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) forced tens of thousands of Christians to flee the country, leaving a small but bold and faithful remnant.
For many of these Iraqi Christians, day-to-day life is focused on survival, and yet they faithfully work to advance the gospel. Many of Iraq’s Muslims have rejected Islam and become open to Christ because of the corruption and violence rampant among radical Muslims.
These circumstances provide a unique opportunity to share the gospel with Iraqis searching for hope and truth. The violence and instability have also led to a revival among traditional Christians.