Open Doors Maintains Book Distribution in Iraq Despite Violence

An international ministry is continuing its work in distributing Christian books in Iraq as terrorist attacks continue.
( [email protected] ) Mar 01, 2006 11:42 AM EST

An international ministry is continuing its work in distributing Christian books in Iraq as terrorist attacks continue.

According to Open Doors International, the importance of addressing the spiritual needs of the Iraqi people outweighs the personal danger the team member face everyday.

"We give thanks to our Lord for allowing Open Doors to distribute Christian literature inside Iraq," said Open Doors USA President, Dr. Carl Moeller, in a press release. "It is dangerous work. But that is why Open Doors is there – to support and strengthen suffering Christians who remain. Please join me in prayer for our co-workers there and for the safe distribution of our Christian literature."

Though friends and family members of Open Doors staff members have been kidnapped, the ministry continues it works establishing 12 libraries and 12 different churches for adult and children in cooperation with local workers.

"At the moment, we are the biggest distributor of Christian literature in the country," commented a field coordinator working in the country.

Demand, particularly for children’s reading materials, continues to increase, the 50-year-old ministry reports. Iraqi Christians who purchase and borrow the material have expressed gratitude for the ministry’s persistence.

"Every day, we have visitor in our new office, even during the present renovation," says a distribution coordinator. "Many people are so happy to see the new place with a display of the books we distribute in the country."

Open Doors is currently in the process of releasing new full-colored booklets showing six different biblical events and musical cassettes for children. Also included are devotionals and handbooks, including "One Year Through the Bible" and "Counseling Youth." In addition, copies of C.S. Lewis classic "Chronicles of Narnia" will be available for purchase.

Though working in Iraq is not without its risks, the ministry’s workers remain optimistic that the situation for the Christian minority will improve.

"The leaders of the various churches are still working on forming an evangelical alliance," said Open Doors’ coordinator for Iraq. "They have almost finished the process. Creating such a platform will help the Church to remain strong, forming one fist in this country."

Last month, extremists bombed six churches, killing three and wounding 32 believers. Christians in Iraq make up around three percent of the entire population. According to recent reports, persecution against Christians continues to rise.

Although "life and work is not easy in Iraq," Christian workers remain grateful, says an Open Doors field coordinator. "We are grateful for the prayers of Open Doors’ supporters and the funds made available by them to Iraq."