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Home Misleading Urgent Prayer Request for Northern Iraq Claims to be From Open Doors

Urgent Prayer Request for Northern Iraq Claims to be From Open Doors

by Brett M. Christensen


A circulating message, which purports to be from Christian support organization Open Doors, claims that there is a serious threat that all Christians in Northern Iraq may be beheaded within hours and calls for ‘urgent prayer backing’ to help those in danger.

Brief Analysis

The message did not come from Open Doors as claimed. While the organization does encourage more prayer for Iraq, it notes in a public statement that it has not verified the claims in the message and did not send it.


Urgent text from Open Doors: “ Christians in Northern Iraq are calling for urgent prayer backing as they’re in great danger – serious threat of beheading of all Christians in a few hours. Please forward this request to your praying friends on behalf of our brothers & sisters in Christ” “The prayer of the righteous man availeth much.”


Detailed Analysis

A message that is circulating rapidly via SMS, email, and social media calls for ‘urgent prayer backing’ to assist Christians in Northern Iraq.

According to the message, all Christians in the region face the threat of beheading within a few hours.

The message claims to have been sent by Open Doors, a Christian organization that offers various types of support for persecuted Christians around the world.

Christians – and those of other faiths – in Iraq are indeed in great danger from members of the violent and ruthless militant group ISIS. And, Open Doors is working in the region. However, the message does not come from Open Doors as claimed.

The organization posted the following notice on its website:

We have not contacted our supporters or the wider community with this information, nor can we verify it.

The text was not sent from Open Doors, we are, however, encouraging more prayer for Iraq!

And, a post on the group’s Facebook Page confirms the notice:

We have been informed that an “Urgent text from Open Doors” is going around Facebook containing false information about Christians in danger of beheading in Northern Iraq.

This text is NOT from Open Doors, it is a hoax.

We have no confirmation of this information, and are currently looking into it. We ask that you continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq.

The message does not contain a specific date, and just lists a time frame of ‘in a few hours’. Given that, at the time of writing, the message had already been circulating for several days, this time frame has little relevance.

Of course, whether or not you believe that prayer can actually help persecuted minorities in Iraq against violent thugs with guns is clearly a matter of personal faith. But, even if you do, be aware that this circulating ‘urgent’ prayer request for Iraq misrepresents itself and contains inaccurate information.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,