Shias of Iraq

Day 18 – Shias of Iraq

On the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic calendar, Shia Muslims commemorate the death of one of their most revered figures, the grandson of the prophet Mohammed. Hussein was massacred along with his tribe in the Iraqi city of Karbala. Every year, Shia Muslims pour into the streets and beat themselves in remembrance of the suffering of their people. Some might say that Shia Muslims are in a constant state of mourning as this theology of suffering runs deep in their religious culture.

Shia Muslims pray prostrate as do Sunni Muslims, but in contrast, they place their foreheads on a small clay tablet called a turbah. The turbah is composed of dirt from the city of Karbala where Hussein and his family were massacred. The turbah, as well as the mark it leaves on the Shia Muslim’s forehead, serves as a symbol of honor and remembrance of what their ancestors suffered.

Over half of the population of the Republic of Iraq is made up of Shia Muslims. As the local Christian population in Iraq continues to dwindle, it leaves only a handful of churches in the entire country. With such minimal access to Christians, how will Iraqi Shia Muslims hear of the One who will break their chains of everlasting suffering? Who will tell them that Christ has suffered for them and that hope is here?

How to Pray

+ Pray that more laborers would answer the call to go to the Shia Muslims of Iraq and for Iraqi believers who stay in Iraq to have a bold witness.

+ Pray for freedom for Iraqis to live peacefully as Christians in their nation.

+ Pray that the local Iraqi Church would continue to be a light in the darkness of the Iraqi deserts.

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