For Iraqi Christians, Easter is more significant than Christmas. Even in some villages as close to Islamic State-controlled areas, believers are not afraid to celebrate Holy Week.
Christians started with observance of Palm Sunday and over the past week believers have observed more special days, such as the washing of the feet on Thursday, the crucifixion on Good Friday, the Saturday of Light and then today, Easter Sunday.
Christians are not particularly afraid of violence from ISIL terrorists during the celebrations, but many Iraqi refugees had set their hopes on being back home by Easter rather than celebrating in the refugee camps in northern Iraq.
However, a local Christian involved in relief work says: “Easter also gives new hope. We are celebrating the resurrection from the death of Jesus Christ, but we are also looking forward to a resurrection in each of our hearts.”
- Give thanks for the hope of Easter, the resurrection and new life through Jesus Christ. Pray for this hope to be shared across Iraq, Syria, and many other places in the Middle East this Easter.
- Pray for protection for Iraqi Christians as they celebrate Easter. Pray their celebrations will touch and change the hearts of many Muslims in their communities, including ISIL.
- Pray that the truth of the Gospel and the Risen Lord will spread and bring life and light even to the darkest of places in the world today.
Luke 24 vs 1 – 5: “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men aid to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”