These are the lucky ones. Refugee camps and relocation centers can seem like barren, loveless places, but at least these kids made it to safety. Many of their friends and family died running for their lives when the men from ISIS came calling. Christians have made their homes across the Middle East for 2000 years. That’s 600 years longer than Islam has been a religion, but today they are being slaughtered, terrorized and driven from their homes.
Typically, the storm descends with a convoy of vehicles bearing black flags. The killers wear masks and carry automatic weapons, torches, and machetes. They kill and torture fathers and their children. They drag women and girls off to camps where they rape and sodomize them.
Fifteen year old Aria was still humiliated and terrified when US reporters met her at an Iraqi refugee camp in January. She and her neighbors had piled into a car and fled for their lives when they heard ISIS was en route. The convoy of seven trucks with black flags intercepted them on the highway out of town. They brutalized some of the passengers and murdered Aria’s 19 year old brother. They forced Aria and two female relatives into a minivan and transported them to a three story house in Fallujah with dozens of other young girls. They threatened them, violated them sexually, tried to force them to convert to Islam and read the Koran. Aria wanted to commit suicide. A sheik arrived one day and carried away 20 girls as his wives. The nightmare continued for three weeks until Aria and a comrade were able to break through a door, conceal themselves in veils, and walk one hour to safety.
When journalists met Aria earlier this year, she has been living at the refugee camp for six months. She is still traumatized by her ordeal. She, too, is among the lucky ones: odds are she may get to grow up!
Every month some 322 Christians die for their faith around the world. Who can count the number who are kidnapped and simply disappear? After the Holocaust the world said, “Never Again.” Now we’re facing the Great Tribulation: let’s keep that promise to the persecuted church.
PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens
Support organizations that are engaged in providing relief: Samaritan’s Purse; the Wilberforce Initiative; The Cradle Fund.
Lift up the Cross!