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EDITORIAL
Tragic Tale in Iraq
Thirteen Year Old Christian Faces Execution
Jim Dykstra
24-Oct-2006
There is a little 13 yr. old Christian girl being held in prison in Dahuk, Iraq on charges of murder. The man who attacked her whole family is actually (was) her uncle. He was trying to kill all of them because they renounced Islam, converting to Christianity.

I have spent several years documenting and reporting on the persecution of Christians throughout the world. I have spoken first hand with many Christians who undergo trials and tribulations because of their faith in ways I will never comprehend. I live in a free nation and have the ability to profess my faith in Jesus through church attendance, prayer, worship and open fellowship with other believers. I hold in my home numerous versions of the Bible and a wealth of supporting books to analyze any portion of scripture. And yet from time to time stories of persecution captivate my heart so deeply that no release is possible until the situation is altered.

One such captivating story requires publication to a situation involving a thirteen year old girl caught in a Muslim/Christian conflict involving false accusations. I pray her story will captivate your heart as well and I ask you will take every effort to intercede and then look for ways to protest the probable outcome.

Recently the following message came across my email account:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am an American pastor who just returned from my third visit to Iraq where I was privileged to work with the evangelical association of churches of Iraq again. There are many things that I can testify to about what God is doing there but the reason that I am writing you is to tell you of a particular story of persecution that you may not be aware of.

There is a little 13 yr. old Christian girl being held in prison in Dahuk, Iraq on charges of murder. The man who attacked her whole family is actually (was) her uncle. He was trying to kill all of them because they renounced Islam, converting to Christianity. While attacking them, he accidently stabbed himself in the heart and died. However, the Muslims are charging her with murder. There is much to this story and I know all the details as I spoke directly with the father, mother and saw the three brothers, one of which sustained serious injuries in the attack. I confirmed all these things with the president of the Evangelical Association of Churches of Iraq who is also a good friend of mine.


The details of the story are as follows:

The Ahmed family lives in the city of Dahuk, Iraq in northern Iraq near the Turkey border. Brother Ahmed and his wife have three sons and a daughter, Asiya, who is thirteen. Brother Ahmed and his wife made a decision to follow Jesus over 10 years ago with much opposition from family members. Brother Ahmedís father is the leading imam (cleric) of the local Muslim mosque and has threatened the family several times and vowed to kill the family because of their Christianity. Brother Ahmed has had three attempts made on his life with divine intervention preventing his death.

Mark Case, The Fatherís Field Ministries International founder continues the story:

In mid August of this year, Brother Ahmed was arrested for freely distributing Bibles and other Christian books to the general public in northern Iraq. He was put in jail for seventeen days. While in jail, the leading Imam of this area, the father of Brother Ahmed, sent Ahmedís natural brother to kill Ahmed's wife and four children. The wife and four children had been given shelter by her parents who are also Muslim but who are not radical in their beliefs and who sympathized with their family in their situation, realizing their lives had been threatened.

The brother of Ahmed stormed the house where Sister Ahmed and the four children were living and began a reckless attempt to stab them one by one with a knife. As he went first for Sister Ahmed (the mother), she testifies that Jesus plainly appeared between her and her attacker and deflected his knife. As the attacker then went for her oldest son, (approximately ten years old) his arm was broken and severely cut up. In all the scuffle, Asiya, the thirteen year old daughter became involved and somehow the attackerís knife was deflected from them into his own body, puncturing his heart and killing him immediately. As a result, the thirteen year old girl was selected out of the family to be charged with the murder of the attacker, her uncle.
Brother Ahmed, was released from prison after some days following and is now living in exile while his family is still under the threat of death from the Imam, his father. The young boy who was severely stabbed spent approximately one month in the hospital and was released.


This situation demands our immediate attention as this girl is facing pending execution. Her case does not fall under the norms of civil legal processes but rather falls under the prevalent Sharia laws in Iraq and more specifically in the village the Ahmeds live in. The first goal is to see Asiya freed from prison. The second goal is to assist in relocating the family to another country where they can live in safety and begin life over again. Asylum is already a possibility, although legal assistance would be helpful.

Finally, in Brother Mark Caseís words:

It might interest you to know that as the father was weeping and sharing this story with me, he also said that Asiya is boldly sharing the love of God (the gospel) with the Muslim women who are in her cell with her. He testified of her boldness! This brought a smile to his face and much relief to my heart. Surely the Lord is with her. Remember, this family is a bold one anyway. This isn't your average thirteen year old! Praise Him! He is faithful! He is mighty and He will not forsake His own! But, this doesn't really comfort us for the 24 hrs. per day that she is there. We do know that the Lord will release her and that it is our solemn duty to pray with fervor for that release just as the early church prayed for Peter until the angel showed up. Amen?

I realize we all have many causes and situations taking up our time and energies. However, this situation is critical and the time is now, before it is too late. Please contact me at info@christianmonitor.org if you need further information or can be of assistance.

Jim Dykstra