| Israeli Christians: What About Our Brothers in Iraq? |
Arabic-speaking Israeli Christians are growing increasingly frustrated by the Western “Christian” world’s exaggerated focus on Gaza, while it all but ignores the forced conversion, execution and exile of Iraq’s ancient Christian community.
A group of some 200 Christians from across northern Israel on Sunday gathered in Haifa in solidarity with the Christians of Iraq, and in support of Israel’s military operation against Hamas in Gaza. Most of these Christians belong to a group advocating local Christian enlistment in the Israeli army.
The Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum has for years been encouraging young local Christians, particularly in the Nazareth area, to integrate with Israeli Jewish society, and to volunteer for IDF service as the first step toward achieving that goal.
Finally, after centuries of living under Muslim intimidation, the Christians of the Holy Land are free to fully identify and worship as Christians, and in so doing have increasingly realized their ancient connection to the Jews and Israel, the leaders of the Forum often argue.
Sadly, the vast majority of Christians in the Middle East still live in fear and as second-class citizens to their Muslim overlords.
Nowhere is that more true than in the parts of Iraq conquered by the Islamic State (formerly ISIS). As a leading Iraqi Christian leader recently noted, the city of Mosul (ancient Nineveh) is empty of Christians for the first time in 2,000 years after the Islamic State demanded they all either convert, pay the infidel tax or face the sword.
“Israeli citizens - Christians and Jews - stand shoulder-to-shoulder and scream to a world that sees fit to ignore the genocide carried out against Christians in the Arab world,” wrote one of the Forum members following Sunday’s demonstration.
“Israel is on the front line against a terrorist threat that could drown the whole world,” the statement continued, insisting that “a strong Israel means peace for Christians, Jews, Arabs and Druze alike.”
Jonathan Elkhoury, the son of an officer in the South Lebanon Army that allied with Israel during its years in Lebanon, directly called out the hypocrisy of the international community in an address he was supposed to make to the demonstrators, but later posted to Facebook.
“Our standing here tonight is a cry to the world that stands by and ignores ethnic cleansing carried out against Christians in the Arab world by terrorists and radical Islamists,” wrote Elkhoury. “Where is the international community…? They are busy condemning Israel for defending its citizens against those terrorist organizations.”
In an earlier open letter, Elkhoury, now a proud Israeli citizen, urged his Jewish countrymen to “keep up the fight, because as long as you are here in Israel, I (as a Christian) continue to exist and live. I see the slaughter of Christians in Arab countries just because they are Christians and my heart is crying, but it makes me appreciate even more that I came to Israel.”
The Forum’s spiritual leader, Father Gabriel Naddaf, publicly thanked the Israeli army for protecting Christians and all the citizens of Israel from the fate currently being suffered by the Christians of Iraq. He has also been calling on the Western world to similarly intervene militarily to end the slaughter and persecution perpetrated by the Islamic State.
Source: Israel Today - Ryan Jones. 29th July 2014.
| 2014/7/29 10:50||Profile|
| Re: Israeli Christians: What About Our Brothers in Iraq? |
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony and they, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
We are not call ed to fight the persecutors with the temporal weapons of man. The persecuted church in times past and present has always accepted persecution, even martyrdom, as their way of taking up their cross to follow Christ. In so doing the persecuted church triumphs over Satan.
| 2014/7/29 11:28|
| Re: |
I understand what you are trying to say and for individuals that are in the midst of such persecution (which is not you or me), then yes the attitude should be as you say. However it is not for us who sit in comfort to sit and pronounce to these afflicted brothers that they should just joyfully accept martyrdom as God's will for them!
Instead we should be a voice for voiceless, a defender of the weak and make their case known and do all we can to relieve their suffering.
| 2014/7/29 13:01||Profile|
| Re: |
I am praying for both,
Hebrews 13:3 KJV
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them ; and them which suffer adversity , as being yourselves also in the body.
| 2014/7/29 13:48||Profile|
| Re: |
With respect, my brother, I am not expressing an opinion from the comfort of my environ. But taking issue with the article that is calling for Christians to join the IDF to defend Israel. This is not the way of Christ. And certainly not the way of the persecuted church in times past or present.
In terms of raising a voice or should I say prayers for the persecuted. Then dear brother I invite you to come and lift your voice with us on Persecution Watch. The info is below. Lord willing, we will enter our 5th year crying out for those in the shadow of the cross.
Call meets 3 times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights at 8pm Central. Call number is 218.548.8367. Pass code is 261475#.
Dave I would welcome you or anyone else in the forum to come and cry out justice for the persecuted elect of God.
Also we are looking to have some 12 hour prayer calls to pray for the persecuted church in Nov. Lord willing, will post more on that in the future.
| 2014/7/29 13:56|
| Re: |
The purpose of me posting the article was not the issue of them joining the IDF, but the fact that the genocide of Christians in those countries is generally ignored by the west compared to the condemnation heaped against Israel defending itself agsinst terrorists. I applaud those Christian's in Israel for taking a stand for this.
Regarding their call to join the IDF, they are addressing this to Christians who live in Israel and are Israeli citizens. Every Israeli is obliged to do service in the IDF and therefore as citizens of thst nation it is their duty to serve as well. You may disagree, and that is fine, but it is part of living there.
| 2014/7/29 14:21||Profile|