Every so often, a compilation of emails sent to Renewal Ministry Fellowship of Australia is sent out. The emails contain many reports of the work of G-d in India, the Middle East, and Africa. The emails also report of the destruction of Christians’ property, restrictions on Christian ministry, and persecution of our brothers and sisters in hostel lands. Occasionally reports are made on the deaths of Christians. Here is one such email:
From: Dr Mary Job in INDIA:
“Martyrs are those who rise above the most horrific circumstances and lay down their lives as willing sacrifices so that the `living Christ` is forever worshipped and honored. [Note: British Spelling] We bring you news of the latest martyrs from Syria, whose lives and deaths reveal that persecution against Christians is rising but so is the determination to stand up against the vilest of persecution…
“Eleven missionaries from Aleppo who were providing aid to war-affected survivors were brutalized and then crucified. The incident took place on August 28, but reports have only surfaced now. Apparently, ISIS militants entered the village and asked the group of ministry workers whether they follow Christianity. When the Christians said that they do, the rebels asked if they wanted to return to Islam. The Christians said they would never renounce Christ.
“The 41-year-old team leader, his young son and two ministry members in their 20s were questioned at one village site where ISIS militants had summoned a crowd. The team leader presided over nine house churches he had helped to establish. In front of the team leader, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of his 12 year old son and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he returned to Islam. When the team leader refused, the militants beat him and two other ministry workers. The three men and the boy then met their deaths in crucifixion. They were left on their crosses for two days.
“Eight other ministry team members, including two women, were taken to another site in the village and were asked the same questions before a crowd. The women, aged 29 and 33, were publicly raped and then, the two women and six men knelt were beheaded. Eye witnesses say that all the executed were praying as they met their end. Let us draw inspiration from their lives because it would be wrong to weep about their deaths. We pray that the souls of these martyrs will find their peace and joy with their Maker.”
You will repay them, O Lord,
according to the work of their hands.
You will give them dullness of heart;
your curse will be on them.
You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
from under your heavens, O Lord. Lam 3:64-66