Alabama’s Shorrosh delivers gospel to Iraqiscomment (0)
January 1, 2004
By Anthony Wade
Anis Shorrosh, Baptist evangelist from Alabama, spent a week in Iraq Nov. 16–18. He was joined in Jordan and then Iraq by three Christian leaders from California for his trip.
Shorrosh described his recent trip to Iraq as a “triple-header” that may be just the beginning of many more trips to encourage Iraqi Christians.
His goal is to return every month and a half or so.
Shorrosh’s ministry, the Anis Shorrosh Evangelistic Association, reaches out to Muslims and Christians worldwide.
“I believe God is opening doors in the Iraqi and Muslim world,” he explained.
In a phone interview with The Alabama Baptist, Shorrosh, who was born in Nazareth, Palestine, said, “I went there because I felt the Lord had opened the door for me.”
“Because of my language being the same, I felt the Lord could use me to encourage the believers there,” he said
Besides this ministry of encouragement, Shorrosh represented the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) to scout the possibly of its establishing a television station in every major city of Iraq.
Shorrosh said TBN also is considering buying satellite dishes for all of the evangelical churches in the country.
The hottest things in the streets of Baghdad are satellite dishes, selling for $25 to $500, Shorrosh said. The washing machine and television business is brisk too, he noted, despite the fact that electricity goes out about six times a day.
Preaching the gospel
The third and most pivotal component of this trip was to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“I preached three times in Iraq and twice in Jordan,” Shorrosh said.
With his Arabic appearance and sound, he could easily blend in on the streets of Baghdad and Tikrit (hometown of Saddam Hussein).
“I walked the streets and looked just like them,” he said.
Shorrosh visited churches and at least seven different homes — some wealthy, some poor.
He said the people of Iraq were so excited about his visit and what Americans are doing there, but that the information about what America is doing doesn’t always reach them.
“We have failed as Americans to communicate with the people through the media our love and compassion for the Iraqis,” he said. “They cried when I told them our U.S. Congress had voted to spend $87 billion dollars on them. They had no idea.”
With its newfound freedom the country of Iraq presents an unprecedented opportunity for Christians, according to Shorrosh.
“Iraq therefore becomes the gateway to the Muslim world with its 600,000 Christians and 20 evangelical churches. Most of these churches are Assyrian Orthodox or Catholic and Greek Orthodox,” he said.
The largest churches have 400–500 members and the smaller ones have 120–200 members.
“The people are really excited about the Lord in their services,” Shorrosh said. “The worship services are uplifting, exciting and joyful with people singing loudly.
They sing typical Christian songs from America, such as “The Joy of the Lord Is My Strength,” and they sing Christian songs from the Middle East.
“I was privileged to meet at least 10–15 (Iraqi) pastors from all denominational backgrounds, but mainly evangelicals. The thing that struck me was how joyful they were despite the poverty,” he said.
What Iraqis need to hear from Americans is, “We need to say we love them (Iraqis) and are eager to see them succeed in a democratic country,” Shorrosh said. “Christians can’t convert (others). ... It’s the Holy Spirit who does that. We are under command to share Jesus with the rest of the world and leave the results to God.