Slight digression today from my usual posts on American history, writing and romance novels to touch on something that I feel deeply about – the persecution of Christians around the world, and especially right now, in Iraq.
All but the most uninformed have to be aware of how Christians are being driven out of the middle east. In cities like Mosul, Christians were told they have three choices: convert to Islam, leave, or die. As Iraqi militants have worked their way through the country, somewhere between 35,000 and 50,000 Christians and other minorities now find themselves trapped on top of a mountain in Northern Iraq. As I understand it, the number of children is around 25,000.
Perhaps the most heinous is that now that the timeline for leaving Mosul has expired, the group known as ISIS (or more recently I’ve seen it referred to as ISIL) has started killing children by beheading them and parading their heads about the city on pikes. We’re not talking teenagers, but babies and toddlers. The most innocent of the innocent.
I made the mistake of reading an article to find out what was going on, and ran across an image I will never forget.
This must stop…but what can we do?
Unless you are subhuman, you have to agree that these are some of the worst atrocities committed by one group of humans against another since the Nazis tried to wipe out the Jews. But if you’re like me, you’re thinking what can we do? For that matter, is there even much governments around the world can do to stop this?
I believe there is more our government can do, but in the end, it will take a higher power. That’s the purpose of the #nooncampaign created by Pastor Matthew St. John @mathewrstjohn of Bethel Church in Fargo, ND.
The Arabic symbol for the letter N is pronounced Noon. This symbol is being painted on the home of Christians in Iraq because they are follower of the man from Nazareth. That would be Jesus for those of you outside the Christina faith – more on that in a moment. The #Nooncampaign is a call for those of us around the world to pray every day at Noon for our Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering at the hands of such evil.
You don’t need to be Christian
I’d be the last person to pretend to be “holier than thou.” Although I can’t ever recall being an atheist, I have been everything from Catholic, to Lutheran, to Deist to everything in between. I really like the Enlightenment idea of religious toleration. So long as you aren’t trying to kill me or stop me from believing what I believe, I’m not going to stand in the way of your version of worship.
However, I am a strong believer in the power of prayer. I don’t care who you think is on the other end. You can even call it “positive thinking” if you like. So whoever you are, whatever you believe, please join us every day at Noon. And remember to use the hashtag #nooncampaign to spread the word.