Persecution fans the flames of revival
Just when the persecution of Iraqi and Syrian Christians seems to reach epic proportions, ISIL gets more ruthless and there are those who doubt that any Christian Believers will survive to revive.
ISIL has nearly eliminated the Christian population in the region, targeting Believers with beheadings, crucifixions and more. Christianity Today reported in June 2014 that the number of remaining Christians in Iraq was no more than 300,000. Today, it’s hard to even estimate a number. This is compared to the 1.2 million Christian population recorded in the early 1990s.
Last year, a number of Christian Iraqi children chose to die rather than convert to Islam. The Vicar of Baghdad told reporters: “The four children, all under 15, said no, we love Yeshua, we have always loved, we have always followed Yeshua, Yeshua has always been with us.”
He added: “They said: ‘Say the words. They (the children) said ‘No, we can’t.’ They chopped all their heads off. How do you respond to that? You just cry.” (Italics mine)
Some Christians who have fled are responding by forming a Christian retaliation force. These Christian armies have been preparing to go to battle since August and told the Catholic Herald: “This is our last stand, if this fails then Christianity will be finished in Iraq.”
Meanwhile, in refugee camps, many Christians are retaliating with evangelism, resulting in a growing number of refugees turning to faith in Christ.
Let us retaliate with prayer and intercede for these Christians to survive and to revive, knowing and believing that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” and will fan the flame of revival.
- PRAY that the ISIL fighters will encounter Jesus, repent and turn to defend His people.
- PRAY that the Holy Spirit will comfort and revive His Iraqi and Syrian Church.
- PRAY that Christian retaliation forces will be guided by love and wisdom
- PRAY that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will put an end to this conflict.
2 Chronicles 32 vs 7: “‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.“