12 Aug No Safety for Christians
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” ~ Matt 5.10,11 (NASB)
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NASB)
“Syria’s ghastly civil war seems as intractable as ever.”
“The extremist group has been targeting the minority Christian community as it spreads its tendrils through war-torn Syria.”
“The Isl*mic State published a price list last fall for female captives, who are traded like cattle or “barrels of petrol,” according to the Daily Mail. The group reportedly executed 19 girls who refused orders to sleep with terrorist fighters.“
first a bit of
Since the conflict began in 2011, Syria has not been a safe place for Christians. Of the more than 4 million Syrians that have fled Syria, more than 600,000 are Christians. The minority Christian communities are always targeted first.
Last week there were another 230 people reportedly kidnapped by the prevalent terrorist group and are now missing. Among them are dozens and dozens of Christian families – including 45 women and 19 children. There is a systematic eradication of Christians as this group takes over town after town.
When they seize control of a territory, Christians are rounded up and given 3 choices. They either convert to Islam, pay the ‘jizya’ religious tax, or be killed. Most often these are extremely poor people with no ability to pay the tax. Churches, crosses and centuries-old icons are destroyed. Pastors, Bishops, Priests have been calling on the world for help. But “no help comes”, they report.
Persecution and martyrdom has been a way of life for believers through the centuries. Estimates say that more than 40 million Christians have been martyred since Jesus gave his life. The early church knew a lot about persecution. As they scattered, the gospel spread. We must pray for their protection, for their needs to be met and for their persecutors to be stopped and to find the living and forgiving Savior. We know too that we pray for the outcomes of their suffering to be for the glory of His Name, the advance of the Kingdom, and great reward for their faithfulness to Christ Jesus.
Use the links below, and the 5 suggestions made by Evangeline Vergo to pray this week.
Here is a great site with many ideas to pray for the persecuted. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-persecutedchurch.html
Evangeline Vergo wrote on the CRU website some great suggestions on how to pray from scripture for the persecuted with these 5 suggestions from Ephesians.
• Please pray that persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Ephesians 1:18).
• Pray the Holy Spirit would strengthen them (Ephesians 3:16).
• Please pray persecuted believers would know how much God loves them (Ephesians 3:17)
• Pray they would know how to share the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
• Please pray that persecuted believers would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Ephesians 6:20).
Pray too for the Syrian believers to have this same spirit of love and forgiveness in the midst of their fear, hardship and wanderings, as this widow. This links to a letter written by the wife of martyred Christian to the Libyan people, telling of her love for them and her love & forgiveness for the killers. http://ronniesmithlibya.com/
Syria’s beleaguered Christians
Isil kidnaps hundreds of civilians after capturing key town in Syria
Syrian Christians among minorities at risk of genocide
Visit the ACT page to see the opportunities to be involved.
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