I have one thing I’d like to share with you this week:
ISIS. Or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
If you’ve been listening to NPR or watching the news, you ‘ve probably heard of this terrorist group wreaking havoc in Iraq, but it wasn’t until I kept seeing this symbol pop up on my Facebook wall that I read everything about ISIS and the humanitarian crisis happening in Iraq.
I don’t feel qualified to really go into the horrific details of the situation, but I do feel as a compassionate member of the human race I am qualified to urge you to look into the situation yourself, get educated and help out.
Before I give you some links to check out, you might be asking why we should care about something happening on the other side of the globe.
Here are a few reasons:
1. As Americans we’ve been lied to. We were told in 2011, after ten years at war, that we were “leaving a stable Iraq.” Call me crazy, but if in a span of three years a terrorist group can emerge, take over large areas of a country, displace hundreds of thousands of people and kill and abduct thousands more, I don’t think “stable” was the condition Iraq was in when we left.
2. As Christians, it is important to know about the mass genocide of our brothers and sisters in Christ that is taking place. Depending on which news account you read, there have been 5,500 public executions of Christians since ISIS started its reign of terror. There have been forced conversions to Islam and murder for anyone who refuses to so do. Many times, there is an execution either way.
3. As mothers, we can’t even begin to know the horror that thousands of Iraqi mothers have experienced because their children have been abducted, executed, and beheaded. I haven’t looked, but I’m told you can Google “ISIS children beheading” and see images and videos of it. It is ugly and sickening to me to even write that, but just because it’s difficult to write doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be confronted.
4. As human beings, we cannot ignore the mass genocide of innocent people half a world away. In the 1940’s the persecution of groups of people, mainly Jewish Europeans, led to the shameful, horrific stain on human history: The Holocaust. In 2014, we have the internet and easy access to news and the use of social network to spread the message of the atrocities happening in Iraq. How much more shameful will it be if we allow this persecution and genocide to continue?
Like I said earlier, there are a million links out there but the few that I’ve found most helpful are these:
This site gives a thorough background of the terrorist group ISIS and their message of hate: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/08/world/isis-fast-facts/index.html
This site goes into what the American response has been so far: http://nypost.com/2014/08/10/obamas-plan-to-stop-isis-panned-by-both-sides-of-aisle
This site provides good information and a map of the areas where ISIS is active:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27838034?print=true
And finally, this site give some suggestions on things you can do to help: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/crisis.in.iraq.six.things.you.can.actually.do.to.help/39094.htm#.U-ZNBlVf8ZI.twitter