Earlier this week, news of the ISIS leader’s death was plastered across media outlets. The groups’ leadership vacuum begs the question—what does this mean for Christians in the region? The Voice of the Martyrs, USA’s Todd Nettleton says not much has changed.
What About Christians in Syria?
“ISIS was certainly no friend to Christians. Tens of thousands of Christians were displaced by ISIS as they moved forward. When they would take over a city or a village, they would typically announce, ‘Christians get out or risk your lives,’” Nettleton says.
“As long as ISIS controlled territory, they were a risk; they were a danger to Christians. The reality is that the ideology that drives ISIS is not dead, even though the leader of the group is dead. Christians in the Middle East are still going to face persecution.”
The good news is that ISIS is not controlling as much territory as it did four years ago. The persecution Christians experience from the extremist group has eased. But Christians in Syria still need our prayers.
Neighboring countries continue to fight for control of the nation. Turkey recently rolled into the country and brought Russian forces along with it. The two nations sealed their power in northern Syria earlier this week. It is the same area where U.S. forces withdrew.
International Day of Prayer
This Sunday, the global Church community will unite in prayer for the Persecuted Church. The day, International Day of Prayer (IDOP), is an encouragement to both those who pray and those who are the focus of countless prayers. It is also a chance to use the news to pray specifically for brothers and sisters in Christ. Nettleton says VOM’s hope is for every church and every Christian to get involved this Sunday.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Bethann Flynn