'World Help' promotes Church Planting in Iraq

It has been reported that many Christians are in fear of further violence after the bomb attacks on Sunday 1st August, and are now planning to flee the country. Many religious leaders and the Iraqi government have condemned the terrible crimes.

Eric Vess of World Help, said that Christians in the region are frightened, however the established church seems to have been the targets of the latest attacks; none of the evangelical churches have been targeted probably because they don't look like churches to the extremists.

"There is a tremendous amount of fear right now in Iraq among evangelical Christians, but the fear isn't paralyzing them. Even though Christians are afraid, even though many Christian business people have closed their businesses, churches are still holding their worship services, something that can't be said for some of the other churches." Vess proclaimed.

The violence isn't just having an affect on Christians. Vess thinks that it is also forcing moderate Muslims to rethink their faith. Many are turning to God's Word for answers. "There is a tremendous weariness in the Islamic world towards Islam. It's not necessarily fueling an interest in Christian's per-say or Christian churches at first, but it is fueling a tremendous interest in the Word of God."

World Help is working with 72 Iraqi churches, and according to them, Christianity is spreading very quickly in Iraq. The majority of Iraqi people are very open to reading the Bible and hearing about Jesus Christ, many for the first time. They are hungry for hope and looking for real answers, especially now in the wake of Saddam Hussein's capture.

World Help believes that Church planting movements are the key to evangelising the unreached peoples of the world. Since it was founded in 1991, 6,706 new churches have been planted, 11,000 house churches have been established and 25,000 church planters, pastors and church lay leaders have received training.

Their goal is to plant 100,000 organised churches and 1 million house churches in the next 7 years in the least-reached area of the world and establish 1 million "house churches" in these 100,000 villages within 7 years.