Let us then approach God’s throne of grace
with confidence, so that we may
receive mercy and find grace to help us in
our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Ages ago the prophet Jonah saw it happen.
The population of the city of
Nineveh (in the north of present day Iraq)
repented from sin. A radical change
came because he preached and God’s Spirit
worked. Almost on the same spot in
the city of Mosul (modern Nineveh), the
climate has changed too.

After 2003, Mosul became a city with increasing
violence. Car bombs, attacks
and all kind of violence are normal in this old
city. Civilians of whatever
religion and police and soldiers have been
targeted. In the beginning of 2010,
there was a significant increase in
violent attacks on Christians. In the
month of February that year, eight were
killed in just ten days. This all
caused an exodus of

“Thousands of Christians have left our city…and that hurts,”
twenty-one-year-old Dawud. “I saw a lot of my friends leaving too,”
the young
Iraqi adds. His family has been Christian for generations, as is
the case with
many Iraqi Christians.

Open Doors worker, Daniel, says
that as far as he knows the number of
Christians dramatically dropped in the
second biggest city of the country.
Before the fall of Saddam Hussein, the
number in Mosul was estimated at two
hundred thousand of the one and a half
million inhabitants. “We believe the
number is now far less than one hundred
thousand, many of them not living in
the city itself but in Christian
villages around.”

“We started some years ago to pray for our city,” Dawud
continues. “It started
small with just our family, but soon there were more
believers coming to the
prayer meetings. Now we pray weekly on Tuesdays and
Saturdays from five till
seven in the afternoon. Some fifty Christians in our
city regularly
participate,” he says. “Because of our prayer, the city
started to change. The
situation is different now. What I see now is that my
generation doesn’t want
to leave, we want to stay. This is God’s place for
me. I’ll stay; I will never
leave. And if I will be killed, I will be

“But,” he goes on, “the situation is much better now. We can go
out as youth
again, even in the evenings. We can go to our meetings without
being afraid,
we don’t feel insecure anymore.” His father, pastor of one of
the churches in
Mosul, confirms that the climate in the city improved after
they started
praying as a church. With a smile on his face he adds, “We even
saw Muslims
becoming followers of Jesus.”

RESPONSE: Today I will
rejoice in the ability I have to take every issue I
face to the Lord and
trust Him for the answer.

PRAYER: Remember brothers and sisters who live
in violent societies. Pray that
fear will not drive them to leave.

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