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Making sense of what’s happening in Iraq

Blog Team
Jan 03, 2020

Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq Friday morning after violating a travel ban prohibiting him from entering Iraq and for allegedly planning attacks against U.S. diplomats.

President Trump ordered the strike against Soleimani, a popular, top commander in Iran’s military, as a “decisive, defensive action” after repeated attacks by Iranian-backed forces on U.S. troops in Iraq.

But now Soleimani’s death is causing alarm in countries throughout the Middle East and here in the United States. Retaliation is expected by Iran and its allies. Iraq has condemned the strike by the U.S., as well.

Gen. Soleimani, 62, was over Iran’s Quds Forces, which are said to aid terrorist organizations in countries like Iraq. He was once referred to by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, as a “living martyr of the revolution” and was the second most powerful man in Iran. It is believed many organizations will want to avenge his death. All Americans currently in Iraq have been advised to leave the country immediately.

That’s why we’re calling on you to take the most powerful action possible — pray.

“Traveling regularly to be with our partners in the Middle East and visiting numerous refugee camps, the single statement I hear more than anything else is ‘Please, pray for us.’ Knowing people are praying provides hope and encouragement in the midst of daily fear and uncertainty.” ­— Howard Erickson, World Help’s Middle East Director

Here’s how you can pray for this volatile situation:

Pray for our leaders. Ask God to grant discernment to our government leaders as they navigate this tense situation.

Pray for our U.S. troops. With military bases being the most likely targets for retribution, we need to pray for the wisdom of our military officials and for the safety of every soldier on the ground.

Pray for the Christians in southern Iraq. Local Christians may also come under fire because of Christianity’s association with the U.S. and the West in the mind of local Islamic extremists.

Pray for the citizens of the Middle East. Airstrikes have become a constant occurrence in the Middle East, and this added tension will only cause them to escalate. Remember, also, the innocent civilians who are in grave danger.

Although our local partners in this region of the world have not been directly affected, they would no doubt appreciate your prayers, too. They continue to serve those in need and show them the love of Christ while monitoring this unstable situation. You can support their work, and the work of our other partners helping people in some of the world’s most dangerous and impoverished places, by clicking here.

Thank you, again, for praying for those affected and those who could potentially be in harm’s way in the coming weeks and months.

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