Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Where Christian lives are cheap

The militant Islamist group al Shabaab has publicly declared that it wants Somalia free of Christians. According to the nation's constitution, Islam is the state religion. Open Doors says those who attack Christians do so with impunity. Suspected Christians are frequently killed on the spot.

Said one Christian: "It appears that I live in a hell on earth. I wish I could just stand inside a  church and cry out in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Still they manage to maintain a witness. One has regular contact with camel herders. He gave them a radio tuned to a Christian radio station. The camel herders are illiterate, but they listen to the radio every night.

In Nigeria, thousands of Christians have been killed or abducted by Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group. Hundreds of churches have been destroyed.

In Sudan, blasphemy laws are frequently used tor prosecuting Christians. A significant number have been imprisoned. President Bashir's government has demolished churches, killed Christians in bombings and allowed others to kill Christians with impunity.

In Eritrea, Christians are considered a threat to the state. They have been tortured, beaten and imprisoned in horrific conditions.

Syrian Patriarch Ignace Joseph lll Younan said Eastern patriarchs had warned the West from the beginning that the situation in Syria was much more complex than in Egypt, Tunisia or Libya, and conflict would create only chaos and civil war.

"They responded: No, the Assad regime will fall in a few months..As I predicted, that hasn't happened, and five years later, innocent people, especially Christians, have no support. The West has betrayed us."

Says Generals International: "Many of us live mostly isolated from the atrocities. We're so used to hearing about unrest and turmoil in places like the Middle East and Africa that we hardly flinch at news of bombings or shootings 'over there.' The scope of this horror is hard to wrap our heads around; meanwhile, it is a daily reality faced by thousands. 

"We are calling on you, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Take a step back from politically charged rhetoric. . . Jesus Himself told us to pray 'Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven'. . . 

"We are here on earth. And terrorism is not the will of heaven. So we will pray, and we will love because the kingdom of darkness is no match for those two things when they come together. . .

"Pray for those who are choosing to destroy others and sometimes themselves. If they only knew the great love which the Father has for them, they might change their minds and choose God's plan of salvation, instead of destruction. 'For this is the way God loves the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.'

"Ask the Lord to uncover every planned attack. . . Ask God to stop those who persist right in their tracks. Proclaim that their hiding places will be uncovered."

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