- faith that dominated baghdad faith at war through the eyes of a pastor Manual
- A Shield for Faith: The U.S. Military and Religious Freedom
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There was no way I could convince him that I had heard what he was trying to say. He was sure that no one in America was listening. He was right. Our activities include liberating Christians and others out of slavery , bringing food and clothing to refugees from religious terror, helping persecuted Christians keep their schools alive, and providing medical care for victims of church bombings and other attacks. Today, the Middle East and North Africa are witnessing a new age of religious slaughter. In my job, I have had the dubious and humbling privilege of witnessing this firsthand.
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I have held two-year-old Nigerian children whose Christian parents were murdered by Boko Haram. I have walked with Egyptian nuns through the charred ruins of their school, burned down by the Muslim Brotherhood. More than one Christian I met during my stay in Syria has been kidnapped and executed. Since then, the death toll has escalated dramatically, as has the number of Christians fleeing their homelands.
It is likely that there will be no Christian communities left in the Middle East within our lifetimes. It is possible that the end will come much sooner than that. All of which raises the question: why has the American Christian response to this crisis been so anemic? The Lord Jesus calls Christians to be one body — regardless of our sex, our race, our class, our status as slaves or free, our language or our nationality. When one body part suffers, the whole body feels it.
Most importantly, the parts of the body protect each other and care for each other. By this test, the American church is failing miserably. The unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of us — whether conservatives or liberals — have allowed our American nationality to take precedence over our membership in the church in how we see the world. Palestinian Christian citizens of Israel are mostly safe and free, but Palestinian Christians living under Israeli occupation suffer tremendously, like all Palestinians, from Israeli bombings, blockades, and restrictions on travel and water use.
Christianity is totally illegal, and women are second-class citizens.
faith that dominated baghdad faith at war through the eyes of a pastor Manual
Religious police force everyone to practice Islamic law, and arrest and torture Christians found having church services in secret. Saudi Arabians who convert to Christianity have to flee the country. Saudi Arabia uses its vast oil wealth to export its violently anti-Christian version of Islam, wahhabism , into mosques and Muslim schools across the globe, and to fund and arm extremists who attack Christians in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere.
Israel is important to the U. Saudi Arabia is important to the U. Middle East Christians, on the other hand, serve no useful purpose for the U.
A Shield for Faith: The U.S. Military and Religious Freedom
Therefore, if we allow the U. This is all too often the case. Let me offer a few examples. From the perspective of American power , he was a great man indeed. He made peace with Israel, accepted massive weapons shipments from the U. From the perspective of Egyptian Christians , he was a catastrophe. He wrote anti-Christian discrimination into the Egyptian constitution, encouraged the Muslim extremist groups which his predecessors had restrained, jailed hundreds of priests and exiled the Christian patriarch to the desert.
Thanks to Sadat, a new era of anti-Christian persecution began in Egypt, an era we are still living in. Sunni and Shia Muslim militants bombed churches, gunned Christians down in the street, targeted them for abduction, and drove them out of their homes. More than a million Christians fled the country. With my American perspective, I thought my Syrian Christian friends would be excited at the chance to get rid of a dictator.
They were not. Syria was a safe country, and a pair of massacres at churches in Iraq and Egypt just a few months before — which went almost unnoticed by American Christians — were very much on their minds. Today, nearly all of my Syrian Christian friends have either fled their homes to escape violence from Muslim extremists, or are fighting for the Syrian government.
The church we were living in has been bombed by rebel rockets repeatedly. The fact that Ted Cruz is now pinning his presidential hopes on support from American Christians speaks to the level of political sickness in the American church. Middle Eastern Muslims, Christians, and other religious groups alike might have been spared unimaginable suffering.
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Instead, we ignored those who were supposed to be closest to us, and the whole region has paid the price. If American Christians are to remedy this woeful situation, we have to start by listening better.
Learn to recognize the voice of the U. Read websites like morningstarnews. Familiarize yourself with their needs, their fears, their perspectives. They will sometimes disagree with each other.
Overview This book is written not to teach you about pastoral ministry.
It's written to assist in a way in strengthening the pastoral ministry for the benefit of God's people, to advance the kingdom of our God, and to keep the enemy of our faith in Christ at bay. I pray you'll find something to cherish in this book. Product Details. Average Review.
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