Iraq - Last week's bombings in Iraq have raised missionaries' concerns for their own safety as they fervently try to share their faith with the people of Iraq. These fears came after multiple bombings that occured on March 2, the holiest day for the Shiite Muslims.
In Iraq, the Shiites, though a majority population, were viciously persecuted by the former government under the command of recently captured Saddam Hussein. This former regime was composed of Sunni Muslims have had a long history of violence towards Shiites. On March 2, 181 Shiite Iraqs and Iranians were murdered in several explosions at Karbala and Baghdad. These bombings were planned attacks upon many Shiite shrines when thousands of Shiites were celebrating Ashura Day.
Many missions still operate in the cities of Iraq even after this tremendous act of violence. One of the mission agencies, World Vision is continuing ministering in northern and western Iraq. World Vision provides and works for rehabilitation schools and medical clinics. They also supply medical equipment and teach towns how to set up water purification systems. Mission groups have been a vital resource for recovery after the recent War on Iraq. To avoid being noticed, World Vision only keeps a minimal staff and hires Iraqis to carry out most of the relief work.
Mission groups in Iraq are trying to keep a low profile in the midst of this current crisis for their own protection. They strive to help the Iraqi people to achieve adequate living standards despite the threatening situation they face.