Kurds’ Bid for Independence Hits a Wall

On September 25, Kurdistan held a referendum in northern Iraq for independence, which, although overwhelmingly passed in its own region, was harshly condemned by Iraq, Turkey, Iran and some other world leaders. In swift action, Iraq closed Erbil and Sulaymaniyah’s airports to international flights, leaving many relief organizations and our own IM office wondering what the future holds. Iraq and Iran announced earlier this month they would hold joint military operations on Kurdistan’s northern border. Mid October, one of Iraq’s Vice Presidents, Al Nujaifi, met with Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani and agreed to talks between Baghdad and Erbil with Barzani stating he would freeze the results of the referendum to see Baghdad recognize and ensure more rights of the Kurdish region.

How you can pray: Pray for peace in this region; for wisdom, foresight and understanding to prevail in negotiations as government leaders meet. Pray for the 3.2+ million refugees, the vast majority depending on international relief for daily life. Pray for the Church as it continues to minister the love of Christ through relief aid, food, child sponsorship and counseling. Pray for IM’s church planting and child sponsorship ministry teams; like everyone else, they know that another civil war could break out at any time and yet are not in a panic…they’re very busy doing a great job in ministry, and we greatly love and admire them! Our love, prayers and support as a ministry is a big encouragement to them in these days.

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