By BosNewsLife News Center
BAGHDAD, IRAQ (BosNewsLife) -- Despite persecution and bloodshed thousands of Bibles have been distributed in northern Iraq and "many Iraqis" are becoming Christians, missionaries told BosNewsLife in a statement monitored Sunday, August 12.
Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a US-based organization supporting indigenous missionaries worldwide, said a group, or "ministry" it supports managed to distribute 20,000 copies of the Bibleâ€™s New Testament in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
"Millions of citizens have taken shelter [there] from dangerous conditions in Baghdad and other major cities," CAM said.
This year, due to the Bible distribution efforts, a former major in the army of late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein "accepted Christ as [his personal Lord and] Savior," CAM claimed. â€œHe and his wife have also led their entire family to Christ."
TURNING TO CHRISTIANITY
The developments come at a time when CAM and other missionaries say that "many Iraqis" turn to Christianity despite attacks against churches and believers by suspected Muslim militants.
"Despite the danger, many Iraqis have become interested in Christianity. The ministry has received many more requests for Bibles, and has started several Bible studies in northern Iraq," CAM told BosNewsLife in a statement. It said CAM workers are now "sharing the Gospel with Iraqi refugees in [neighboring] Jordan."
However working in the region remains risky. "In early 2006 the ministry planted a church in the city of Nineveh, a particularly dangerous region for believers to spread the Gospel. Three pastors were killed there in 2006," CAM said.
CHURCH BOMB EXPLOSION
In addition, "Recently a car bomb exploded" near the church in the area, "killing many who lived in the neighborhood." Surprisingly, "No one inside the church was harmed," CAM said, adding that the church building suffered only "some" damage.
Many Christians have however fled the violence. More than half of the estimated 750,000 Iraqi Christians fled the country since the US-led invasion began over four years ago, according to church estimates and other sources. Many are believed to live as refugees in neighboring Jordan and Syria.
More refugees were expected Sunday, August 12, as violence continued and the United States military said five American soldiers were killed in Arab Jabour, a district just south of Baghdad where Shiite Muslim militiamen and al-Qaida linked fighters have battled for control.
ATTACKED BY SNIPER
The attack Saturday, August 11, came at a time when the Task Force Marne soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division are trying to crackdown on these militants, news reports said. The Associated Press news agency quoted Major General Rick Lynch, the task force commander, as saying a sniper killed one soldier, then lured his comrades to a booby-trapped house where four died in an explosion when one of them stepped on a hidden bomb. Four others were reportedly wounded in the blast.
The deaths raised to at least 3,690 members of the US military have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an AP count. On Sunday, August 12, Iraq's most senior Sunni politician issued a desperate appeal for Arab nations to help stop what he called an "unprecedented genocide campaign" by Shiite militias armed, trained and controlled by Iran.
In published remarks Adnan al-Dulaimi said "Persians" and "Safawis," Sunni terms for Iranian Shiites, were on the brink of total control in Baghdad and soon would threaten Sunni Arab regimes. (With reports from Iraq).
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