615) Courageous Children

From the NEW YORK POST, December 12, 2014:

     Four Christian children were beheaded by ISIS militants in Iraq for refusing to denounce Jesus and convert to Islam, according to the leader of the Anglican church in Baghdad.  Canon Andrew White, know as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” fled Iraq in October for Israel and recounted how brutal the country has become for Christians.

     “ISIS turned up and said to the children, ‘You say the words that you will follow Mohammed,'” White said in a video posted on the Christian Broadcasting Network Web site.  “The children, four of them, all under 15, said, ‘No, we love Yeshua (Jesus), we have always loved Yeshua.’  They chopped all their heads off.  How do you respond to that?  You just cry.”

See also:  Emailmeditation #370)  The Vicar of Baghdad; ( https://emailmeditations.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/370-the-vicar-of-baghdad/ )

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From The Voice of the Martyrs (website:  http://www.persecution.com/  ):

     Little 3-year-old “Joel” was on his way home from Sunday school when Islamic terrorists ripped his children’s Bible from his hands and tossed it onto a burning pile.  Joel ran after his Bible and tried to scoot it out of the flames with a stick.  When one of the insurgents saw him, he shoved Joel’s head into the fire and held it down with his boot.  “You stubborn infidel,” the man hissed.

Joel

Joel

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From The Persecution Blog, by Dr. Jason Peters, on The Voice of the Martyrs website: 

     In July of 2013, two young girls in Pakistan received a copy of The Story of Jesus in their native language of Urdu.  The Christians who distributed the booklets happily reported that these girls trusted Christ after reading these engaging booklets.  Two more sisters were added to our Christian family!

Peshawar Victims

     Just a couple of months later, on a sunny Sunday morning, two suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound in Peshawar, Pakistan.  These Islamists waited until the services were over and the nearly 500 worshipers began to gather for a meal together.  At 11:45, they detonated their suicide vests and killed 78 people and injured another 130.  It was the deadliest attack on the Christian minority in the history of Pakistan.

     In October, I received word that the two young sisters who received The Story of Jesus during the July distribution, and began to follow Jesus, were killed in the attack on that bright Sunday morning.

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Matthew 5:10  —  (Jesus said), “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 10:38-39  —  (Jesus said), “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Matthew 18:6  —  (Jesus said), “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

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Almighty God, who has taught us through your Son Jesus Christ that those who follow Him may be persecuted; strengthen, comfort and encourage all those who suffer harassment, violence, imprisonment and even death for being followers of Jesus.   We pray for those who persecute your people; may their hearts be turned towards you through the faithful witness of those they persecute.   Protect those who are persecuted and bless their ministries.   Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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