There has been a lot of discussion recently about religious freedom in America, and for good reason – the courts and bureaucrats deep in government have been chipping away at that freedom. But today we ask you to reflect on the sacrifices of Christians halfway around the world, including 12 brave souls who stood up for the freedom to believe in Jesus and were brutally killed for it.
These missionaries were from Syria. Even as civil war spread across that country, they insisted on staying in their homeland, and they insisted on bringing the word of Christ to those trapped by the violence.
Christian Aid Mission describes the situation:
‘Every time we talked to them,’ the director said, ‘they were always saying, ‘We want to stay here – this is what God has told us to do. This is what we want to do.’ They just wanted to stay and share the gospel.’
These missionaries knew ISIS militants were approaching the town where they lived and worked, but they refused to flee the terrorists, believing the work of sharing Christ to be too important to abandon.
They were soon captured by ISIS forces and given a chance to renounce Christianity and spare their own lives. Instead they prayed publically in the name of the Jesus, continuing to follow a peaceful path until the terrorists beheaded and crucified them in front of the entire town.
This is reality of terrorism – and the danger it poses both to America and Christians everywhere. As we continue to fight to uphold our values, I ask that you join us in taking a moment to appreciate the sacrifice of these missionaries and all those who risk their lives in the name of the Lord.