Please pray with us this week for Ara Badalian in Iraq.
The birthplace of Abraham and Sarah, exilic homeland of Daniel and Ezekiel, and missional destination of Jonah, Iraq has more biblical history than any country except Israel. Today, 95% of Iraq’s estimated 40 million people are Muslims. Although a persecuted minority, Iraqi Christians are among the oldest continuous Christian communities worldwide. Numbering over one million before the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq’s Christian population fell to 800,000 during the 2003 Iraq War. Thousands of Assyrian and Armenian Christians also fled the country between 2013 and 2017, as ISIS seized significant territory in northern and western Iraq. Join us in prayer for the 250,000 Christians who remain in Iraq as they witness to Christ and His gospel of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation in a land that has endured much enmity and war.
Ara is pursuing a PhD in Theology through Asia Graduate School of Theology in Malaysia. His research focuses on dialogue and reconciliation between Christians and Muslims in Iraq. Ara also serves as Senior Pastor of the National Evangelical Baptist Church of Baghdad in Iraq. In 2015, Ara’s church received a grant from ScholarLeaders to help care for 600 families that had been displaced from northern Iraq by ISIS. In addition to meeting immediate needs for food and clothing, the church expanded its kindergarten, a key outreach ministry to refugee families in the city. Check out Ara’s 2015 Global InSights, A Wounded Memory: The Church in Iraq Today. Ara and his wife Noora have a daughter, Aylin.
Ara shares the following message:
Greetings. I serve as the Senior Pastor of the National Evangelical Baptist Church in Baghdad. We have an influential ministry in the surrounding community.
I will also start a new service, teaching the New Testament survey course as Visiting Tutor for Middle East Theological College, a newly established college in Kurdistan. I was also invited to teach a course through the Haggai Institute in Baghdad.
The situation is stable in Iraq after the elections that took place last October and the formation of the government.
I would like you to join us in these prayer requests:
1. Pray for the stability of the political situation, so the economic conditions can stabilize and so the value of the local currency can rise.
2. Pray for me to finish my doctoral journey in July, as planned, and to submit the pre-dissertation.
3. Pray for opportunities to expand my ministry horizons, in the areas of inter-religious and cross-cultural dialogue, according to my specializations.
4. Pray for the divine protection of my wife, Noora, and daughter, Aylin.
Many thanks for your support.