When throngs of Iraqis began converging on Baghdad’s main square in peaceful protest more than a year ago, a highly educated businessman made sure he was there on the first day – Oct. 1, 2019.
Samer Jawad* joined thousands of others in Tahrir Square frustrated at a faltering economy and breakdowns in public services. Demonstrations went on for months, spreading to central and southern provinces, with various groups in Tahrir Square setting up tents.
Protestors included scientists, doctors, engineers and intellectuals, and Jawad visited tents filled with well-documented books on political and economic issues.
The leader of a ministry based in Iraq also set up a tent in Tahrir Square – eager to show solidarity with the protestors’ desire for basic rights and seeing a unique opportunity to reach a broad cross-section of the population with the Gospel. Over the ensuing weeks, local missionaries maintained their presence in the square even as demonstrations met with tent-burnings, armed militias and a government military response that killed at least 700 people and injured more than 2,700 others.