We Should Have Bigger Concerns than the Toy Aisle at Target

I spend a lot of time on Facebook, mostly because it is my primary connection to my friends and family back in the States.  This, of course, exposes me a lot of click bait and the reposts of clever (or not clever) memes and the pro-con opining over whatever the issue of the week is (such as Target and gender in toy aisles or Trump’s misogyny).

I talk about a lot of heavy issues on this blog related to our work in East Africa, but as much as I believe that we’re here doing what we’re called to, the issues going on in the Middle East are so much more important than what we’re doing.  
I really try to shy away from being graphic about the things we encounter here unless it’s important.  This is important.
Christians are being martyred similarly to the time of the Roman Empire.  You probably heard about the beheadings in Libya and Egypt, but have you heard about the Christians in Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq and traditionally a base for the Christian faith dating back to the days of the early church?  They have been entirely chased out or murdered.  Since the ISIS occupation, Christianity has been so thoroughly eliminated from Mosul that they’ve even carved the crosses off of the tombstones.
Women and girls are being systematically raped, and the leaders of ISIS have even warped their theology to encourage it.  The sex slavery markets are so efficiently organized that as soon as a Yazidi village was overrun, buses with curtained windows carry the women and girls off to stocked holding centers where they’re sorted and categorized and assigned numbers before being sold off to fighters.
Apparently the silence of the West, particularly America, has been an encouragement to ISIS and a profound discouragement to the Christians trying to hold out hope in the facing of growing fear and despair.
I have posted about ISIS and the genocide they are perpetrating on this blog in the past, and I’ve linked to a number of articles on Facebook.  I’m probably starting to depress or anger some of you, but I’ve recently been encouraged by my friends Jenice, Adam, and Lindsay and by an article on Relevant Magazine’s website written from a first-hand perspective to be more active.
Here are three things you and I can do that really will help those under attack by ISIS:

1. Talk about it!

ISIS is recruiting on social media, including Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.  They publicize their slaughter of Christians and other victims, glorify their cause, and recruit fighters to their cause from the United States, Great Britain, Europe and around the world.  You don’t know who sees your posts and who they may be connected to.  If you’ve traveled in the world, have friends abroad or sponsor a child, especially an adolescent boy, in Africa or the Middle East or Central Asia, you are in touch with people who may be targeted for recruitment by ISIS.  There are many people in the West who are tired or frustrated of hearing about this seemingly hopeless situation, but we need to keep talking to our friends and communities and law makers and news makers about stopping ISIS and helping the refugees reach safety.  Contradict people who complain about hosting refugees and immigrants in our safe countries. 

2. Donate!

I found a little organization called the Hatune Foundation through a website (I appreciate their ISIS coverage, but I won’t link here because their other content is not really in line with my views.).  This organization is German and seems to be actively engaged in getting women and girls out of slavery and to medical and psychological support.  It’s not tax deductible in the States (yet) and I don’t know anything about their financial accountability, but they’re actually doing something pretty great (or they’re great fraudsters).  I’m taking the risk and donating to them through Paypal. 

3. Pray!

I don’t leave this to last because it’s least effective – it is the most effective, but it’s the hardest thing to do really.  
Let us pray for protection for the civilians and those opposing ISIS.
Let us pray for God to intervene miraculously, Old Testament style, to defend His people.
Let us pray for escape and healing and peace for the enslaved women and girls.
Let us pray for conviction in the hearts of ISIS fighters and leaders, that spiritual bondage would be overcome and that the truth of Jesus’ love would transform them.
Let us pray for opportunities for Christians and Muslims (and Hindus and Buddhists and atheists) to join together in opposing ISIS and radical terror.
Let us pray that we entitled, comfortable Christians of the world would speak and act and pray for peace to come and ISIS to be wiped out.
Please join with me.
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