As many as 50,000 Christians are expected to gather in Erbil, Iraq on Friday to pray for the church in Iraq and for peace to prevail.
Iraqi forces have been in the process of liberating many Iraqi towns from control by Islamic State. While most of ISIS’ strongholds have fallen, Iraqis have a long road ahead of them to restore their homeland.
The prayer event is being organized by Agape Love, a ministry that partners with local churches. Between 25,000 to 50,000 Christians who have been persecuted by Islamic State or displaced from their homes are expected to participate in the six-hour long event which will also be broadcast across the Middle East by Christian satellite network SAT-7.
In addition to prayer, the event will include stories and testimony from those who come from the recently-liberated towns near Mosul, Iraq.
According to George Makeen, SAT-7 ARABIC’s programming director, participants in the event will also write prayers on balloons and release them "as a symbol of raising prayer on behalf of the whole nation.”
"My prayer is for God's peace and wisdom as they experience such difficult times," he said. "While Iraqis celebrate successes in defeating IS and liberation of their towns, the fear of violence committed by Shia militias… and the fears people will have as they consider returning to homes they were forced to leave: all of these limit the joy and hope people should be experiencing,” Makeen continued.
"The country still lacks the sense of true unity and belonging," he said. "I pray that God will give leaders wisdom to help their people to feel that the current developments are the start of a better future."
The prayer event is meant to be a start to that end.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 17, 2016