What’s happening to our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria is nothing short of a Christian holocaust. Thousands and thousands of Christian men, women, and children are being beheaded, crucified, raped, and sold into slavery by ISIS.
Remember, the Middle East is the birthplace of our faith. Jesus grew up in Nazareth. It was in Syria where the term “Christian” was first used. And now, after almost 2,000 years of faithful presence and flourishing, the world’s most ancient Christian communities are disappearing. For too long, Christians in the West and the governments that represent us have done virtually nothing.
In his new book, “Defying ISIS,” former Liberty University vice-president Johnnie Moore says he has had enough. And he’s on a mission to wake up the Church in the West.
Moore wrote the book after visiting Christian refugee camps in Iraq and Jordan. The living conditions were appalling, and the refugees’ stories were heartbreaking. Moore told John that as he talked with these people he realized: “they once had houses, cars, children in college . . . they were just like me.”
These brothers and sisters were bewildered by the lack of outcry from the Western Church and the inaction of Western governments.
Moore describes what’s going on as a holocaust, and he uses the term advisedly. He reported that even his Jewish friends cannot believe that Christians around the world are doing so little to help their brethren.
Yes, it’s easy to feel helpless, but there are things we can do. No, neither you nor I can pick up the red phone and call in the Marines and the 82nd Airborne, but Moore urges Christians in America and elsewhere to create the political will for Western leaders to intervene.
“Now is the time,” Moore says, “to educate ourselves, to give generously . . . and to show love like we’ve never shown it before . . . We must pray as we have never prayed before for the persecuted church.”
“The fact is,” Moore continues, “we’re seeing 1st century persecution in the 21st century. People are being beheaded the way they beheaded Paul. People are being crucified the way they crucified Peter. People are being killed with the sword . . . as described in Hebrews 13. And now we need to pray a very specific prayer. It’s the prayer Paul told us to pray in 2 Thessalonians: ‘Pray that we might be delivered from wicked and evil men.’”
Folks, I do hope you will get yourself a copy of Johnnie Moore’s book, “Defying ISIS.” And I warn you, Moore is unflinching in describing the atrocities ISIS is committing against our brothers and sisters: against men, women, and children alike. But he also shows us who these Eastern Christians are, tells us about their history, their accomplishments, and their unyielding faith. It’s inspiring.
You’ll also find lists of organizations making a difference right now—organizations like WorldHelp, The Cradle Fund, and The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East—all of which he urges us to support prayerfully and financially.
Oh, and by the way. Moore makes it very clear that ISIS is not just a Middle Eastern problem. It’s our problem, too. There are people in your community who are probably reading and watching ISIS propaganda on the web, and as Homeland Security head Johnson admitted on the Sunday talk shows, they’re preparing to strike.
“[This is] a once-in-a-thousand-year crisis,” says Moore. “And the fact that we are alive while it’s happening means that God will hold us accountable as to whether we did something or not.”
— by Eric Metaxas
Metaxas is currently the voice of Breakpoint, a radio commentary (www.breakpoint.org). Copyright© 2015 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission. BreakPoint is a ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.