As insurgents in Iraq pledged to greet the nation’s historic democratic election with violence and bombings, Christians in the U.S. vowed to pray for God’s peace and protection for the Iraqi people.
In a statement released Thursday, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition said several top evangelical bodies are planning to partake in a prayer vigil in front of the Iraqi Embassy in Washington D.C., January 28.
“We urge all Christians and people of good will to unite for a time of prayer and fasting concerning God’s protection and blessing over the Iraqi elections,” said Rev. Mahoney. “The Christian Defense Coalition, National Association of Evangelicals and the National Clergy Council to ask churches and Christians across America to pray for the protection and safety of the Iraqi people during their national elections this Sunday,” the statement read.
According to recent reports from the Associated Press, insurgents stepped up the violence this week with bombings and gunfire in several cities. Several militants also “promised” to disrupt this weekend’s historic voting with car bombings and other attacks.
And while some 300,000 Iraqi, U.S. and other multinational troops and police will provide security for the voting, the fear of a massive attack still lingers in the region. In light of such circumstances, invitations for the prayer vigil, scheduled for 11:15 a.m., has been extended to all peoples.
“Regardless of one’s past views of the war, it is essential that differences be put aside as Americans pray for freedom and democracy to take hold in Iraq and for the violence to end,” said Mahoney. In addition to the vigil, a clergy delegation will be meeting with Iraqi officials just prior to Sunday’s vote.