Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 10
March 8, 2021
The Pope Visits Iraqi
I was surprised and amazed to hear last week that Pope Francis was visiting Iraqi. I never thought that such a visit could ever possibly happen. I can only hope that his presence in the nation as well as his meetings with Muslim leaders will be catalysts to a Christian population in Iraqi that will be thriving once more.
Thriving? Yes, thriving. Although a minority religion, there has been a thriving Christian population in Iraqi since the first century! Before our nation went to war with Iraqi, a number of Reformed Church Middle Eastern missionaries lobbied our government, and asked the Reformed Church in America, to lobby against military action. These missionaries felt that an invasion of Iraqi would be detrimental to the Christian population there. This prediction has proven to be quite accurate.
According to a report from “The Telegraph,” a gentleman named Saadallah Rassam, is the last Christian resident in the old City of Mosul. This town once had 50,000 Christians. Most of these Christians fled at the time after the war as Saddam Hussein’s grip on the country slipped and Islamic militants took control. As bad as Saddam was, he kept some of these militant groups under control and the Christian population was relatively safe with these groups under control.
Now the Iraqi state army is in control and the power of the militant groups has waned. What is left is a greatly diminished Christian population and many ancient churches destroyed through warfare. In the case of old Mosul, there is one Christian remaining and no standing churches. How tragic that the Christian population was “collateral damage” to our invasion of Iraqi.
Now, with the visit of Pope Francis, there is hope for proper treatment for Iraqi Christians. Even prior to his trip there has been a joint effort by Muslim and Christian groups to rebuild many of Iraqi’s ancient churches. Let us pray that the work of Pope Francis will led to the rejuvenation of a Christian presence in that nation. Currently it is practically vacant for the first time since the first century. Perhaps this can now change.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/