Standing With The “People Of The Cross”
In recent months we have witnessed unspeakable atrocities against ancient Christian communities in the Middle East. In mid-February the beheading of 21 Members of an ethnic religious group from North Africa but primarily Egypt, where they are the largest Christian denomination in the country. Christians in Libya at the hands of ISIS militants captured attention around the world.
In a graphic video of the killings, the terrorists referred to their captives as the “people of the cross” before beheading them.
Last week we learned that ISIS captured over 200 Assyrian Christians in north-eastern Syria (19 hostages were later released). ISIS attacks on historic Christian towns and the destruction of churches and artifacts have tragically become familiar events in both Iraq and Syria.
Today, as the kidnappings and killings continue, many people are wondering if Christianity will survive throughout the Middle East.
At Open Doors we are committed to standing with all “people of the cross,” including the ancient Christian communities in this region, the Coptic Christians of Egypt, the Assyrian believers in Syria and Iraq who still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus, and all of the many thousands of Christians scattered throughout the Middle East, who are living their faith in spite of terrifying risks.
Take Action Today for Middle Eastern Christians
Long before ISIS began cutting their deadly path throughout Syria and Iraq, Open Doors was advocating for a bill to create a Special Envoy for Religious Freedom in the Near East and Southeast Asia. Although Congress finally passed the bill last summer, the President has yet to fill this crucial State Department post.
We urge Open Doors supporters to contact President Obama today and urge him to move quickly to fill the Special Envoy position, adding a much-needed voice on behalf of marginalized Christians throughout the Middle East.
Here is some suggested language to use:
Dear President Obama,
2014 was one of the most horrific years in recent memory for Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. Last summer Congress responded to this crisis by passing the “Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act,” sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt and Carl Levin. This bill creates a Special Envoy position in the State Department to address the complex issues in the region and to work closely with the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
In view of the increasing atrocities this year against Coptic Christians in Libya, Assyrians in Syria, and the escalating threat of ISIS to the entire region, I urge you to move quickly to fill the Special Envoy post.
Thank you for advocating with us!