On June 7, a Christian businessman was shot to death in front of his home in Kirkuk, Iraq, according to VOM Canada. Those who witnessed the murder of 34-year-old Hani Salim Wadi described it as a “targeted killing.”
Several Christians in Kirkuk and Mosul have been attacked in recent months, and Christians in Iraq have expressed fear of renewed violence. Chaldean Archbishop Emil Nona said, “We are seeing another, the umpteenth, attack against Christians. The violence continues without relief.”
The killing of Hani Salim Wadi is the latest in a series of attacks on Christians in Kirkuk. In April, three Christians were killed and three others wounded. In one attack, assailants slit the throats of a Christian woman and her daughter-in-law, killing them both. In another attack on Christians, gunmen shot a father and his three sons. One of the sons died instantly and the others were wounded.
Since 2003, Christian leaders, churches and businesses in Iraq have been targeted by Islamic extremists, and many believers have fled the violence. In October 2008, more than seven Christians were killed and more than 200 families displaced. The Christian community in Iraq is estimated to be only 3 percent of Iraq’s 26 million people, or about 800,000.
Pray for Hani Salim Wadi’s wife, daughter and extended family as they mourn their loss. Ask God to guard the hearts of Iraqi Christians against fear so they can continue serving him with boldness.
VOM supports persecuted believers in Iraq in a variety of ways. In 2008 we provided 300 Action Packs to persecuted and displaced believers in Mosul.