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ROSENBERG Remarkably Good News From Iraq
by Joel Rosenberg
[novelist] 5/24/06

Unprecedented religious freedom has finally come to Iraq because of U.S. military action there, and more Iraqi Muslims are becoming followers of Jesus Christ today than at any other time in the history of the country.

That was the message delivered by retired Iraqi General Georges Sada Monday night at a private dinner just outside of Washington, D.C., and then at McLean Bible Church in northern Virginia where Sada spoke to more than 1,000 people.

Sada and I first met by phone in March when I interviewed him for EPICENTER, the non-fiction book I'm writing about the future of the Middle East. Intrigued by his remarkable personal story, I invited him to come Washington to share his experiences and perspective with our congregation. It was an extraordinary evening.

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Joel C. Rosenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of THE LAST JIHAD (2002), THE LAST DAYS (2003), and THE EZEKIEL OPTION (2005), with more than one million copies in print. He previously served as a senior advisor to several U.S. and Israeli leaders, including Steve Forbes, Rush Limbaugh, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been interviewed on more than 300 radio and TV shows, including ABC's "Nightline," CBN's 700 Club, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, the Michael Reagan Show, the Rush Limbaugh Show and the Sean Hannity Show.. Website - [go to Rosenberg Index]

The Ezekiel Option

The Last Days

The Last Jihad


Sada described in detail how Saddam moved stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction to Syria in the summer of 2002, a story that is now being closely analyzed by the CIA, DIA and Congressional intelligence committees. He received an emotional ovation when he described how he refused to execute U.S. and British prisoners of war in 1991, despite direct orders by Qusay Hussein, Saddam's son. That move led to his dismissal from the military in February 1991, though -- thank God -- not to his own execution.

Just as moving where the stories Sada shared about what God is doing in Iraq today. Such stories are rarely told in the American press, though the Washington Times, to their credit, covered Sada's visit, and ran an excellent front-page story this morning. [See below]

The Kurds in the north of Iraq, for example, are especially receptive to the gospel message and are converting to Christianity "by the hundreds," Sada reported. One evangelical church recently started in Kurdistan now has more than 800 people worshipping there every week, most of whom are new converts from Islam. Sada told me that some 5,000 Iraqis have publicly identified themselves as new followers of Christ since Iraq was liberated, and that an estimated eight out ten Iraqi believers say they converted because Jesus appeared to them in dreams or visions.

In a new and very positive development, Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Kurdistan Regional Government in Irbil, has vowed to protect the ancient Assyrian Christian community there as well as new believers from persecution and violence. Sada and Dr. Terry Law, president of World Compassion, a Christian relief organization based in Oklahoma, met with Barzani last week. "I would rather see a Muslim become a Christian than a radical Muslim," Barzani told them, an absolutely remarkable statement by a Muslim leader in a land wracked by sectarian violence,

One of the things I found most inspiring was when Sada said that Saddam Hussein's throne room in his main palace in Baghdad had been turned into an evangelical church after the war. Once Saddam used that room to order thousands of people to be executed, but now the name of Jesus Christ -- the King of kings and the Lord of lords -- is praised there instead. Sada also said tens of thousands of Bibles were being printed in Iraq. Thousands more are being shipped into Iraq, and Christian programming is now available to Iraqis on satellite television.

Sada, a former air force fighter pilot who once served as a senior military advisor to Saddam Hussein, became the chief spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi during the interim government, just after the war. Now he serves as a senior national security advisor to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and has been helping redesign the new Iraqi military, along with his efforts to strengthen the Christian church in Iraq. His recent best-selling book, Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein, is an absolutely fascinating description of how Sada became a follower of Christ, rose through the ranks of the Iraqi Air Force, ended up working so closely with Saddam, and now works for peace and reconciliation in the name of Jesus.

Sada concluded the evening with a heart-felt message of thanks to the American people for liberating his country and said all peace-loving people should "kneel down and thank the [American] mothers and fathers who have sacrificed their sons and daughters for the sake of freedom in Iraq." He asked for patience as Iraq's fledgling democracy builds a foundation and finds its way. But he also said there is far more good news in Iraq today than is being reported by the national news media.

Why is he taking such risks to share the good news? I asked him. "There is an Arab proverb which says, 'Don't be a mute Satan,'" he told me. "If you know the truth, you have an obligation to tell everyone." CRO

copyright 2006 Joel C. Rosenberg





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