One of the biggest things that have been happening in the news lately is the takeover of ISIS in Iraq and the call for Christians to convert to Islam or be killed. This takeover of the country of Iraq has led to severe persecution of Christians in the country. Terrorist leadership in the country has called for Christians to convert to Islam, pay a tax for being non-Muslim, flee Iraq, or be murdered. The deadline for this decision for the Christians in Iraq was Saturday. Trapped Christians gathered in groups awaiting their fate and praying for help, but no one has heard much from them. More details and images can be found here, although be warned that some of the images are very graphic.
Events in Iraq hold significance for Bible prophecy students and teachers. The Antichrist's world capital will be in a rebuilt Babylon (Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 18:1-24), which was geographically in modern day Iraq. It will be quickly and dramatically destroyed by God toward the end of the Tribulation because of the abominations that have taken place in Babylon throughout world history, especially during the time of the Tribulation when it will be rebuilt and worse than ever. Babylon has always been a center for significant world events. When the Garden of Eden was on Earth, it was in that part of the world. We know the Garden of Eden was located somewhere in Iraq (ancient Babylon) when it was here on Earth. Genesis 2:10-14 said the river flowing out of Eden fed into the Tigris, Euphrates, Pishon, and Gihon. That would have put the Garden somewhere in that part of the world. The Tower of Babel was also in modern-day Iraq during the first experiment with humans creating a world government of sorts led by Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-12; 11:1-9), a foreshadowing of the Antichrist.
Does the Bible specifically predict the current persecution of Christians in Iraq? No, not really. The only possible way the Bible could be applied to persecution happening in Iraq is from a slippery slope position where increased persecution now could get worse and lead to times of persecution during the Tribulation that will be worse than anything the world has ever seen (Matthew 24:9-10; John 16:1-4; Revelation 7:14; 13:4-7, 16-17; 18:24; 20:4). The persecution goes to those highest levels during the Tribulation, not before, because the true body of believers will be spared from that global persecution (1 Thessalonians 1:10; Revelation 3:10). That does not mean we will be spared from persecution of believers though. From the beginning of the Church Age on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 to the present, the true Church has known persecution. There is no reason why we should expect that to change as we get closer to the time of Christ’s return. The Lord Jesus told us to expect persecution when He said if they hated Him, they would hate us too (John 15:18-25). There is no reason to fear or live with a doom and gloom mindset though. Even if we are one day persecuted unto death, there is a special martyr’s crown called the Crown of Life promised to those who endure to the end (Revelation 2:10). There is also the promise of the Lord Jesus Himself who said that He would be with us to the end of the age (Revelation 28:20).