email from a friend I'll not identify for security reasons...
We've all seen and heard about the uprisings in the Arab world. The Middle East is heating up for better or for worse. We talk about fighting for democracy, desiring to see all ethnic groups obtain it, and even children seek some type of democracy of their own. It takes a huge amount of hatred and ignorance for anyone to refuse such democracy, and yet in the mind of fundamentalists and extremists, there is no room for it. This is the struggle of Christians in the Middle East, especially those living in Syria.
The last few months have been some of the hardest times for Christians in Syria, in the fight against corruption. They have united together to support the call to change. Things began to heat up in the streets, and the effort to fight corruption turned into power struggles, where sects in Islam are fighting each other, trying to take control, forcing their beliefs on one another.
Many slogans have been heard throughout the revolution. One in particular goes something like this, "Take the Christian man to the grave and their women to bed." Hearing hundreds of men in the streets, chanting against Christians, has brought fear into their lives. Fear for the safety of their woman and young children. It has come down to a battle for existence, all because of what they believe. Many stories of Christians being attacked and killed, woman being kidnapped and raped, are being heard throughout Syria. All in the name of Islam and of "Democracy!!" Their definition of democracy is clearly different than ours!! What breaks the heart of Christians in Syria is knowing that the United States is working and helping to train Al-Qaeda in Southern Turkey and Northern Jordan in order to stop the regime. The reality is that when Al-Qaeda's mission is accomplished, they will target Christians until they are wiped out and vanished from the country. They will rape and kill them, as they did in Iraq and other places. Al-Queda will not keep their word when they come into power, and I know this will not honor the U.S. government.
Speaking of power, one of the most powerful and influential Islamic leaders in Syria is Al-Arorr. His followers do whatever he asks of them. Recently, on his Islamic show, he asked his followers to bring him ten Christian women from a Christian neighborhood and another twenty from another neighborhood in Damascus. Not only did he want to torture them, but his intentions were to kill them and cut them into pieces. This mad leader has been outspoken about his hatred toward Christians, even from his home in Saudi Arabia. Sadly, we know that he has many people following him in Syria that have caused great shame and pain to the Christian people.
A few weeks ago, a young Christian lady was heading home from work. She was tired, and so she decided to take a taxi. She called her parents and told them she would be home in ten minutes. This young lady never made it home. Her parents searched for her, but they could not find her. Two weeks later, news came to the police that there were many young women taken prisoner in a house in the city of Doma. They were being used for prostitution. There, they found this young lady who was taken by the taxi driver. It turns out that the people marching and protesting on the streets for democracy, like this taxi driver, were looking for unveiled women to kidnap, rape, and abuse. This young lady was among many Christian women found being abused by those claiming to want change and democracy. For Christians, Syria is no longer a safe place to live.
In the past, Muslims have at times united with Christians, as we have read in history and in the Holy Books. Perhaps, our Muslim brothers can unite with Christians once again to not allow this to happen to Christians, especially Christian women. In order to respect the teachings of the book and keep the honor of Islam, we must unite and take a stand against the evil that is happening in Syria and throughout the Middle East. My question to our Muslim brothers is this: "Will you join us in taking a stand and protecting the Christians and minorities in Syria against the shame that is happening to them in the name of Islam at the expense of democracy?"
Christianity has strong roots in Syria from the time of Jesus Christ and from the days of St. Paul. Christians are trying to preserve this history and share it with others. Most importantly, they have a desire to share and live out the Gospel with those around them. I believe that if the U.S continues working with the extremists (through American taxpayer's money), they are supporting the extermination of Christianity in Syria and in the Middle East. The battle for the Christians in Syria is not just for them; it's for those of us here in the West as well. We speak, act, and worship as America Christians, but perhaps we should speak and act on behalf of the body of Christ all over the world. Their existence, in some way, is connected to our existence as Christians in the West. We hope and pray that the West will work with logical, educated people (and there are MANY of them) to change foreign policy in order to preserve Christianity in the Middle East and even throughout America. I believe that one day Christians in the West are going to need the voice of the Christians around the world. Today is our chance to be the voice for them.
The challenge for us is to pray for those who are being persecuted and to do something about it before .... time runs out.
January 17, 2012
- Big Questions
- Who is God?
- The meaning of life?
- Importance of Worldview
- 'Journey Inward' and 'Journey Outward'
- Time: our only Non-Renewable Resource
- Mortality and How to Benefit from It
- Christ's Identity and Invitation
- Your Decision
- Barriers to Faith
- Why Believe?
- Faith and Understanding
- Implications of Your Decision
- Acting On Your Decision to Follow
- Deepening Through Scripture
- How to Benefit from Daily Reflection on the Scriptures
- Chapter by Chapter: Practical and Pastoral Observations to Help us Live as Followers of Christ
- Deepening Our Relationship with Christ
- Engaging Community
- Understanding Mission
- Expressing Christ's Character
- Living in Hope
- Facing Persecution
- Serving the Lord of All
- Deepening Through Scripture
- What is Mission?
- Jesus' Mission
- Our Call to Mission
- Arenas of Mission
- Writing Your Personal Mission Statement
- Rhythm of Life and Mission