I had two nightmares last night! Or maybe they were bad dreams. I didn’t wake up as a result, though I wished I had, but I didn’t enjoy the subject matter.
It started with me running around in Israel or Palestine with Tany who was there to perform in a drama with some Christian mission or other. Around every corner there was death.
Then I moved. For some reason (it was a dream, why would I expect logic?) I was in Mosul. More death and destruction – then running, lots of running before… scenes that would be best left in my imagination if it weren’t for the fact that the slaughter of people because of their faith is happening every day.
Why, all of a sudden is this on my mind? Maybe something to do with the news, or Cranmer’s blog post from yesterday, mostly written by Cannon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad,
ISIS/ISIL/The Islamic State is marking their homes. And it’s not for a passover.
Nor is it a smiley face. It is the circled Arabic letter ‘n’, signifying ‘Nasarah’ (Christian). Once thedhimmi occupants are so identified and labelled, they can more easily be taxed (jizya), forced to convert to Islam, harassed to leave or be summarily executed by the Islamic State which now owns their property.
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The ‘Nasarah’ is appearing on Facebook as a symbol of support for those being persecuted in Mosul.
Add to that the fact that I now know, have shared a meal with, or even been given a place to rest by people living in countries where officially there’s freedom of religion but the practice in some areas is completely different, and honestly I feel pretty desperate.
I feel desperate because persecuting someone for their faith (whatever faith that may be) is wrong. Attacking (which is a very nice word to use in light of some of the atrocious acts that are being carried out) men, women and children because they claim to follow another God is wrong. And yet there’s nothing I/we can do to ‘fix’ the situation.
I don’t even think politicians can ‘fix’ this. What can they do? Carpet bomb, or precision missile, the aggressors into submission? That only works until they get the bigger weapons and turn them on you. Plus it perpetuates the myth that violence can bring peace.
All Everything I can do is pray for peace. Just like generations before have done. When it all seems lost, God hears and answers prayer.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
- 1 John 5:14-15
I can have a voice into the situation in Iraq, Israel and Palestine, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Korea, Central African Republic… (the list is too long)! But I am not powerless. Instead I fear that I am lazy, self-centered and uncaring. If I wasn’t I’d be praying much more than I am.
More prayer resources and information on many different situations from Open Doors.
The Open Doors website, at www.opendoorsuk.org is a brilliant place for prayer resources.