Last week, I stood only a few hundred miles from Bethlehem, where over 2,000 years ago, our Savior was born. The dust from the desert is still on my shoes, reminding me of my spiritual heritage . . . the Middle East is where the Christian faith was born.
Today, this same ground is stained with the blood of thousands of Christians who have refused to renounce the faith that has sustained them for generations. ISIS has come to their homes, confiscated all their possessions, kidnapped their young daughters, raped their wives, and murdered anyone who would not convert to radical Islam.
I heard firsthand accounts of children who were torn from their parents’ arms and brutally beheaded in front of them just for calling themselves Christ followers. Now is the time for the American church to wake up.
Yesterday morning, I held a 20-minute conference call to share the details of ISIS’s campaign to wipe out Christianity from the region. This is an urgent message every single Christ follower needs to hear. You can access the recording here.
This Sunday, November 2 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
More than half a million Christians from 150 countries will join together on Sunday to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world.
There’s two simple ways you can participate:
First, pray with us. Organize small groups at your church, hold a special prayer service, and simply pray. This is something we all can do.
And second, consider giving financially to aid persecuted believers in Iraq. Many of you have already done that . . . but the need is still great.
There are thousands of Christians who escaped ISIS but have nothing left to call their own. They have no food, no water, no medicine, no shelter, no money . . . no hope. As the Church, we have a responsibility to respond on behalf of those who have given up everything to follow Jesus.
As ISIS continues to advance, this crisis is expected to grow more desperate by the day. We must open our eyes. We must open our ears. We must come together to say “ENOUGH,” and we must do it now!
If Iraq’s Christians, even children, are willing to look into the eyes of ISIS soldiers and boldly die for their faith, the very least we can do is pray! The very least we can do is provide a warm meal, a cup of water, a blanket in Jesus’ name.
We’ve created a space online where you can read stories of persecution and access helpful resources, including the video I’ve shared above, along with a downloadable hand-out that will enable you to spread the word. To learn more, visit worldhelp.net/prayer.
Please pray. Please give. And please remember our persecuted families in the Middle East in your hearts and in your churches on November 2.
Together, we can do something that will outlive us and last for eternity.