Hating others with whom we disagree and differ has been a problem since the fall of man. Genocide still takes place in our broken world. As militants overrun parts of Iraq and Syria, stories of beheadings, torture, and mass exodus have filled the news.
My heart breaks for the people in this region. I had such a wonderful experience in the year 2000 while visiting Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey in the summer of 2000. That experience remains one of the highlights of my life. One of the most vivid memories includes the hospitality, warmth, and passion of the people we met.
We also could see and feel the oppression.
With troops holding their weapons at the ready seemingly everywhere, it was hard to ever feel truly at peace.
Now, 14 years later ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) threatens to wipe out anyone – Christian or Muslim – who do not agree to convert to their brand of Islam, pay a tribute, or flee their homes.
The letter “N” in Arabic has been used by ISIS to mark the homes of Nazarenes/Christians so that they will be targeted by the militants.
For those of us with freedom, we do not have to stand idly by. We can do the work of protecting those who are persecuted with our prayers. The most powerful force we have remains bringing our concerns to God.
We need to pray for a miracle, make the world a better place where we live, and then be ready to serve those directly affected as the opportunity allows.