Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a peaceful, holy New Year

Dear friends and family,

Reflecting on the Christmas message of Pope Benedict XVI, I was pleased to hear him specifically mention the “little flock of Christians” who live in Iraq.

At just 3% of the overall population, Christians in Iraq suffer great persecution from fellow Iraqis who see Christianity as a western, foreign religion.

For example, recently, a Christian doctor in Iraq was kidnapped by an unidentified group. For a month, he was tied blindfolded to a pole and unable to use a washroom or take a shower. Finally, he was released to his family after they paid a ransom for him. This is just one example of the kind of treatment Christians are suffering in Iraq.

I would like to join with Pope Benedict and call all Christians to pray for our Iraqi brothers and sisters in the Lord. For we know that Christ, the Savoir of the world, though born in the middle east, sees no boundaries on the Earth that God created.

This fall, International Teams established a new program in Iraq, led by Iraqi-Canadian, Insaf Safou. Impact Iraq is a compassion ministry that cares for refugees and internally displaced people by partnering with home churches, encouraging pastors and Christian workers in existing Iraqi churches, building up marginalized women, and developing income-generating projects for impoverished people.

Please consider helping us as we seek to support and encourage Christians in Iraq. To learn more about Impact Iraq go to

May the Savoir of the world, grant you a peaceful, holy New Year.


Neil Ostrander
CEO, International Teams Canada

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