Iraq: American evangelists have managed to really annoy one particular group of Iraqis—Christians. Patriarch Emmanuel Delly is the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Iraq's largest Christian denomination, affiliated with the Vatican. Delly, who ranks as an archbishop in the Roman Catholic Church and is tipped to become a cardinal, explained his problem with the evangelists that have plagued the country since the invasion in March last year:
Delly told Al-Jazeera News on May 19 that Iraq did not need Christian missionaries because its churches dated back long before Protestantism. He objected to the aspect of trying to convert Muslims and said,You can’t even talk about that here.
According to Delly, the evangelicals attract poor youths with displays of money and thentake them out in cars to have fun. Then, they take photos and send them here, to Germany, to the United States and say ‘look how many Muslims have become Christian.’
Reuters has more detail on the story, and notes that Christians in predominantly Muslim countries tend not to make pains of themselves.
Many Muslim countries consider Christian missionaries as part of a Western campaign against Islam and punish both the preacher and the apostate Muslim severely. Violent Iraqi groups killed at least five evangelical missionaries last year.
At least 20 Iraqis were killed in bombings of Christian churches last year as unknown attackers stepped up pressure on non-Muslims there. Christian minorities in Muslim countries usually keep a low profile and do not evangelise.