The situation in Iraq, with ISIS running rampant though the land, is worsening. Obama's Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters that ISIS is "an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else." Even though Hagel also warned that ISIS is "beyond anything we've seen," little has been done to stop the atrocities. ISIS victims have been beheaded, crucified, and buried alive. For months now, the terror group has committed genocide as part of their efforts to "purify the land" of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities. The recent brutal execution of American reporter, James Foley, put ISIS in front of the public's eyes, but the brutality has been raging for months. Thousands of women have been raped and then beheaded, along with their children. In an even more gruesome act, which humanity hasn't seen for over a thousand years, their heads were placed on posts for display! We cannot turn a deaf ear to the cries of our persecuted brothers and sisters.
The first order of concern is the need for persistent prayer. When asked what the persecuted desire most, prayer is primary. Evil cannot be fought only by human endeavors but with spiritual weapons. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). Let our prayers be with dedication and passion. Tell our friends, churches, pastors about the horrors being perpetrated and join in prayer. We must remember: " For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4). What is happening now is evil incarnate and must be fought first with prayer, then take action!
A number of organizations have their finger on the pulse of what is happening. Eric Watt, president of RUN Ministries shared a story of new atrocities. "Late last night, I got an urgent message that more than 1,000 hostages were trapped in a school in northern Iraq: frightened, hungry and helpless. Earlier in the day, they watched as their daughters and wives were forcibly converted to Islam and sold as slaves to Muslims. All were threatened, and no one knew if they would live another day."
RUN (Reaching Unreached Nations) Ministries has trained elite teams that have been mobilized to rescue hundreds of men, women, and children. But more must be done to keep Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities in ISIS' path safe, protected, and fed. Their network of believers in the Middle East are uniquely and strategically positioned to rescue thousands facing hunger, dehydration, exposure, and ISIS genocide. You can donate through Grassfire or on RUN"s website.
Open Doors has been working with the persecuted church for years and has an informative action plan on their web-site. They also list the top countries for persecution and publish a Prayer Watch bulletin that you can sign up to receive. The Voice of the Martyrs, started by Ricahard Wormbrand, has been a voice for decades citing the plight of these persecuted Christians. Samaritans' Purse, directed by Franklin Graham, has recently come on board in helping the persecuted in Iran and Iraq. However, his ministry has helped thousands of children in 100 different countries.
You can find out more about these organizations by visiting their web-sites and donate to any of these organizations either on line or by mail.
Whatever you choose to do, choose well. "Then He(Jesus) will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me" (Matthew 25:45).