The international president of Aid to the Church in Need, Hans-Peter Rothlin, is calling for prayers for the Church in Iraq, as “the persecution of Christians has reached a point that the future of the Church is in danger.”
In recent statements, Rothlin said, “We are sleep walking towards the death of a Christian population whose ancestors accepted the Gospel before everyone else in the first century.”
“In past ages,” he explained, “the Christians of Iraq had little or no voice, but now the situation is much worse. They are suffocating in silence. We have the duty to help Iraqi Christians because we share the same faith.” “Will it be too late when we do something?” he asked.
“Imagine if this were happening to us, imagine if they we kicking us out of our homes, imagine if we were receiving death threats, imagine also how we would feel if our sisters and daughters were forced to marry so-called Jihad warriors,” Rothlin stated.
“What would we do if somebody knocked on our door and demanded payment of at least $100,000 simply for being a non-Muslim in an Islamic country?” he asked. Despite all of this, their will is not weakened and they do not give in to the pressure to convert to Islam, he continued. “The example of faith and bravery of the Iraqi Christians is what we need to hear,” he suggested.
Rothlin issued an urgent appeal to “all leaders of the world, benefactors, friends and in fact the entire world to pray for the Christians of Iraq,” as “they need to be protected and helped, so that they can be at peace in their own country.”
“We pray the world will wake up and that the affronts against the suffering Christians of Iraq will cease. We pray the God of mercy and compassion will come to their aid,” he said, adding, “We should never underestimate the power of prayer.”
He concluded citing a favorite saying of the founder of Aid to the Church in Need, Father Werenfried van Straaten: “They are being tried in the faith, we in love.”