On Jan. 11, Hikmat Sleiman, a 75-year-old Christian man, was shot to death by unknown assailants in Mosul, Iraq, according to VOM Canada and Asia News.
Sleiman had just returned home from closing his grocery shop when a group of assailants opened fire, killing him instantly. Local Christians see his murder and a string of other recent attacks against believers as evidence of “ethnic cleansing” designed to force Christians from the area. Some believe Muslim extremists are targeting shopkeepers in an effort to wipe out the Christian community’s economic activity and drive believers from the area.
The Christian community in Iraq is estimated to be 3 percent of Iraq’s population of 26 million, or about 780,000 people. Islamic extremists have targeted Christian leaders, churches and businesses in Iraq since 2003. As a result, many believers have fled.
The Voice of the Martyrs actively supports Christians in Iraq with Action Packs, resources for Christian leaders and evangelistic literature. VOM also distributes the New Testament in Arabic and supports widows through the Families of Martyrs fund in Iraq.
VOM encourages you to pray for those who mourn for Hikmat Sleiman. Pray that his attackers will come to know the Lord as their savior. Ask God to embolden the Christian community in Mosul to proclaim the gospel even while suffering. Pray that Christians in Mosul will be filled with Christ’s peace during these difficult times.