Kurdistan could well have been home to the Garden of Eden. The Bible says God placed the Garden between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that still flow in Kurdistan today. But the semi-autonomous region in north-eastern Iraq is today recovering from decades of war and suffering.
The 40,000 square kilometre region, the size of Ohio, is being hailed as the last great oil frontier in the world and its people are experiencing the benefits of a booming economy. The region is estimated to be sitting on an estimated 45 billion barrels of oil.
But many, who lived through the Anfal genocide campaigns of Saddam Hussein which destroyed 4500 Kurdish villages in the 1980’s and killed more than 180 thousand people, are still struggling to come to terms with the trauma.
The town of Halabja remains the site of the largest single chemical weapons attack against a civilian area in the world’s history. It commemorates the 25th anniversary of the genocide next year.
The Kurds who are the descendants of the Medes of Biblical times were once a Christian nation. It was Kurdish wise men (magi) who attended the birth of Jesus Christ more than 2000 years ago and were among the first to believe in the Saviour. The magi also established the custom of giving gifts to celebrate the birth of Christ. By the year 400AD almost all Kurdish people had become followers of Jesus. But 200 years later they were to be uprooted by Islam.
The Kurds have a history as a people of honour who valued a person’s word very highly. Likewise they are a very trusting people when others make promises to them.
As they rebuild their country and its economy the time is ripe for them to once again encounter the love, grace, truth and hope of Jesus Christ, the living God. Please pray for the people of Kurdistan that God will be gracious and reveal Himself to them in dreams and visions; that they will once again become a great nation for the Living God.
Please pray for the Christians who are in Kurdistan that they will be used as a channel for God’s restoration of the Kurds.