Below is a letter drawn up by a group of concerned leaders for the awful plight of our Iraqi brothers and sisters in Christ. Please read, sign, and pass on! Joel
Dear Fellow Christians:
After his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus Christ tarried for forty days with his Apostles. At the end of this period he gave them these final instructions: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
The Apostles heeded his instructions and traveled throughout the world preaching the Gospel. The Apostles Thomas and Thaddeus traveled to modern-day Iraq and taught among the Aramaic speaking Assyrian people. These Assyrian Christians have remained faithful to Jesus Christ for almost 2,000 years. This ancient body of believers is being threatened along with other Middle Eastern Christians with annihilation.
Persecution has been an ever-present reality to Middle Eastern Christians. It is estimated that since 2003 half of the Iraqi Christian population has fled Iraq. The persecution of Iraqi Christians has continued. The so-called Islamic State has mandated that all Christians in their territory convert to Islam, pay protection money, or face death. The Islamic State is marking all Christian homes with an Arabic letter (ن) signifying their faith and marking them for death. “For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians,” said Patriarch Louis Sako, Iraq’s senior Catholic clergyman.
The Christians of the United States of America have been blessed with safety and security, and can scarcely imagine what it means to be persecuted for the sake of Christ and His Gospel. We must not fail to teach our children about the reality of persecution in the world today.
We must not sit idly by as our fellow brothers and sisters are kidnapped, tortured, and killed for our shared faith. We must act and call upon our collective energy to influence those in with the ability to act and put an end to the destruction of Christianity in the Middle East.
We will not remain silent any longer. It is time that American Christians come together and use their collective weight to move U.S. policy towards the justifiable position of protecting religions minorities in the Middle East and around the world.
On behalf of those who are suffering now, we make this statement and affix our names upon it. We hope it ends the callous complacency that plagues American Christianity and brings about a conscious understanding that Christianity is endangered in the lands in which it was first preached. The loss of the Iraqi church will be a violent attack on the collective Christian psyche and must be averted with all speed.
(please pass on and have others read and sign)