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Iraqi Kurdistan Opens its Doors to Christians

Contact: Paul Kingery, 808-722-7548

MEDIA ADVISORY, July 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- The vast mountainous region of Northwestern Iraq is becoming a haven for Christians in the troubled middle-east. Two American Christians recently overcame the many obstacles to entering Iraqi Kurdistan and came back with a very positive report. Paul Kingery and James Filibeck traveled by taxi across the Turkish-Kurdish border and spent two weeks traveling the Kurdistan region. Going by faith, they obtained a letter of support from a local university, and were granted visas upon entry at the border.

They traveled freely throughout Kurdistan, with no security detail, sometimes with a host, other times with a cab driver trusted locally, and occasionally alone on foot. There was no part of the region where they could not go. They found a hospitable people of several religions, mostly non-Arabs who are moderate Sunni Muslims. They toured schools, marketplaces, the countryside, and other points of interest. They met with presidents of various universities, the governor of the Dohuk region, the minister of Education for the Kurdistan region, and others. They discussed their beliefs openly and took hard questions about the trinity, western morals, and other topics.

Dr. Kingery, a renown university scholar on peace and violence prevention, was putting the finishing touches on a book about the pursuit of peace in the middle east. The book, released today, is called “Land of Canaan: Ancient Hope for Future Peace.” His book involves a discussion of the scriptural prophesies of the last days, and factors in a future role for Iraq as a temporary proving ground for the people of God entering Israel in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem.

Christians are fleeing war-torn Baghdad for peace and hardship in Kurdistan. In recent weeks, some 70 families have squatted in an ancient graveyard, in the Inkawa necropolis outside the Kurdish regional capital of Arbil.

Kingery and Filibeck are bringing other Christians to settle in Kurdistan. Two English teachers will be given jobs through a local university, and there are openings for several more, Kingery says. He is building a consortium of local universities to open a Center in Kurdistan. The purpose is to develop the region’s infrastructure in several ways, beginning with safe water supplies to public school children.

Kingery’s book can be viewed online at www.landofcanaan.info.

(This story may be revised freely to carry your byline; Call 808-722-7548 for more details)