Stirred by a report of how the Islamic State uses the Quran to justify systematic sexual violence against women and young girls, Hillsong Church pastor Bobbie Houston has called on women everywhere to pray over the shocking and abhorrent situation in any way they know how.
After reading The New York Times Aug. 13 feature “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape,” Houston posted a fervent prayer request on her Instagram account, alerting potentially more than 100,000 followers to the powerful report.
The Times feature, written by Rukmini Callimachi, highlights how “the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria,” using the Quran in support. The radical Sunni militant group uses the barbaric practice as a recruiting tool to grow its numbers.
Thousands of Yazidi women and girls are specifically being targeted by the Islamic State to be sold, forced into marriages and routinely raped. In one particularly horrid account, Callimachi writes of a “small” 12-year-old girl who is bound and gagged and raped by an Islamic State fighter, who prayed before and after violating her, “bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.”
Houston sounded the alarm among her followers and those belonging to Hillsong Church’s empowering women’s ministry Colour Sisterhood, writing:
“Asking the @coloursisterhood & any woman who considers herself SISTERHOOD to pray fervently for this heinous reality happening even now as we read this post. Perhaps if we committed ourselves to pray each day at 12 (the girl was 12yrs old) for a few moments. If you don’t know HOW to pray – pray Psalm 10 over this situation. Prayer in the Spirit. Pray with understanding. Pray with authority. Pray for the victims. Pray for the perpetrators. Yes. Pray for the enemy. All I know is that PRAYER MAKES A WAY. Set your phone alarm to 12midday & send a prayer into the ATMOSPHERE.
Houston gave an update Thursday about the kind of traction her Instagram post had inspired in a matter of days, reporting that she was now “in conversation” with anti-sex trafficking activist and preacher Christine Caine of A21 Campaign and Lisa Bevere. Houston explained that “we are convinced that prayer will make a difference. We are pondering and waiting on God to lead us — but in the meantime, we pray!” Bevere, currently a guest at T.D. Jakes MegaFest 2015, leads with her husband, John Bevere, the global ministry Messenger International, whose mantra is to “teach, reach and rescue (from human trafficking).”
Caine, whose nonprofit A21 Campaign has gained national attention for its work in protecting, rescuing and restoring human trafficking survivors, also pointed her more than 600,000 social media followers to the “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape” article, calling the report “the most disturbing article I have read to date about ISIS.”
In her blog post on Thursday, Houston reminded readers that “when thousands of women (within the Colour Sisterhood and conference) have stirred their maternal, caring and militant hearts to rise up and pray — THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.”
One thing that has happened so far, wrote Houston, was a phone call “from the region where a pastor … works amongst the victims.”
SOURCE: The Christian Post – Nicola Menzie