Although Christians have always suffered for Jesus, today we learn a particularly painful story. The militant state ISIS forces children, Iraqi Christians, and adults to choose: flee, convert to Islam, or die. Episcopal Canon Andrew White tells the poignant story of four of these children in a short video posted on CBN.com I’ve also posted it on Facebook.com/Gordon Grose.
Under orders from the Archbishop of Canterbury, his superior, Baghdad Canon White also fled for his life. One Christian man gave in to say the words of conversion rather than see his children murdered. He later called Canon White to ask if Jesus still loved him, explaining he could’t bear to see his children murdered. What would we have done?
Today, you and I approach Christmas in freedom, in worship, and in giving and receiving gifts and cards from loved ones around the country. My wife and I have friends around the world. We can do more: we can pray for the small, persecuted Christian community in Iraq. We can pray for the children. We can petition our government to do more to support the Kurds, who protect these Christians. You can sign at the American Center for Law and Justice (aclj.org). I signed the petition. If God has blessed you materially this year, you may want to donate to their cause. You will also be asked to donate.
Given the same choice, what would we have done? What would our children say? How will our Christmas celebration reflect Jesus’ love-in life and in death?