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Posts Tagged ‘Persecution’

Iraq’s War on Christians

In Persecuted Church, Political Issues on December 18, 2010 at 9:46 am

Iraqi Christians survery the damage from the October 31st attack

The L.A. Times is one of the first major media outlets to run a major piece on the genocide against Christians in Iraq. In a hard-hitting op-ed piece, the Times sheds light on the reality of the massive persecution, Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq have endured since the start of the second Gulf War:

As much of the world once more prepares to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is a melancholy fact that many of the most ancient churches established in his name are being pushed to the brink of oblivion across the region where their faith was born.
When America intervened to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Christians — mostly Chaldeans and Assyrians — numbered about 1.4 million, or about 3% of the population. Over the last seven years, more than half have fled the country and, as the New York Times reported this week, a wave of targeted killings — including the Oct. 31 slaying of 51 worshipers and two priests during Mass at one of Baghdad’s largest churches — has sent many more Christians fleeing. Despite Prime Minister Nouri Maliki promises to increase security, many believe the Christians are being targeted not only by Al Qaeda in Iraq, which has instructed its fighters “to kill Christians wherever they can reach them,” but also by complicit elements within the government’s security services.

In light of the horrific October 31st attack that left over 50 dead, we must not stop letting the world know about the atrocities that are occurring and continue praying for persecuted Christians around the world. The Islamic State of Iraq, the group claiming responsibility for the attack, alleges that it was prompted by the conversion of two women to Christianity “against their will.” Even following the horrific attack, they stated on their website: “We will open upon them the doors of destruction and rivers of blood,”

The Bible of course gives us repeated warning of these days. Jesus Christ Himself prophesied to His disciples: Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Iraqi Christians mourn their martyred loved ones

One wonders where President Obama is in the midst of this? The White House statement condemned the October 31st attacks but made no mention of the fact that the victims were specifically targeted because of their Christian faith. Nor has he commented on the exodus of Christians forced to flee because of persecution. And the L.A. Times minces no words in describing the administration’s response to the repeated Christian persecution:

The United States, meanwhile, does nothing — as it did nothing four years ago, when Father Boulos Iskander was kidnapped, beheaded and dismembered; or three years ago, when Father Ragheed Ganni was shot dead at the altar of this church; or two years ago, when Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was kidnapped and murdered; as it has done nothing about all the church bombings and assassinations of lay Christians that have become commonplace over the last seven years.

But that does not mean we cannot pray for a better day for Iraqi Christians and for leaders to have a change of heart on this issue if God so wills it.  The Bible instructs us to: “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”(Hebrews 13:3). If it turns out that this violence must persist against those who proclaim the glorious name of our Savior Christ Jesus, let’s pray for the Christians in Iraq to keep their faith and rejoice in the victory that Jesus has already won for them.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


Nigeria: Christian Persecution Continues

In Persecuted Church on July 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Let's pray the wickedness does stop

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved

Matthew 5: 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

After months of what seemed like relative peace in the city of Jos, Nigeria, the calm of the night was ripped apart by a vicious attack on Christians by Muslim Fulani herdsmen which resulted in 10 people dead, many wounded, homes destroyed and churches burned down. Here is an excerpt from the story:

The pastor of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Maza II, Reverend Nuhu Dawat, was said to have lost his wife and two children to the invasion while his church was also burnt down

Reverend Dawat, who spoke with newsmen after the tragedy, said that at about 1am he heard a knock at his door and opened but found nobody standing at the door. Immediately he locked the door, sporadic gunshot rent the air and he bolted out through the backdoor and hid in a nearby farm, he said

“I was there watching as the people were breaking into houses and running after those who escaped from their houses. After they left, I returned to my house only to find my wife, two children and a grandson hacked to death”.

Again, these murders and attacks were simply because the people in this area choose to put their faith in Jesus Christ as their savior. As the persecution continues and more Bible prophecy is fulfilled, we must not stop praying for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria. We must ask the Lord to keep them safe, heal their wounds and strengthen their faith during these times of tribulation. And most importantly, continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ while demonstrating His love in their actions towards those who persecute them. May God let their light continue to shine in a very dark time.

Nigeria – Christian Killing Fields

In Persecuted Church on March 9, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Nigerian Christians view a mass grave.

Biblical Principles

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

The news is giving very good and extensive coverage of the slaughter of as many as 500 Christians in northern Nigeria, in addition to the scores of other victims who were badly injured during an attack this week. Large groups of Muslim attackers went into three villages and set homes on fire, blocked exit streets and went door to door hacking and murdering Christians with machetes. The military restored order far too late in the eyes of many of the residents there, some accusing them of complicity in the attacks. Even tiny children were not spared from the brutal attacks as they were struck with machetes as well.

Again we see that our brothers and sisters in Christ are being targeted just for their faith. The persecution around the world continues to spread at a rapid pace. We must continue to pray for Christians who are suffering overseas that their faith remains strong in the face of persecution. All of this is what Jesus prophesied 2,000 years ago. The Apostle Paul was constantly suffering persecution, whether it was being attacked or thrown in jail or attempts on his life. But yet when he wrote his disciple Timothy he simply stated: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). And for those of us in countries where we are not being attacked for our faith by marauding gangs, let us give thanks To The Lord and use our time and freedom to spread the Gospel, build up one another in the faith and share the love of Jesus Christ. So when persecution comes, we will be ready to trust in our Savior and face it.